Woods Named Player of the Year Again

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Tiger Woods picked up another Player of the Year award Tuesday, and this vote wasn't even close.
 
Woods was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America for a record fifth straight year.
 
He also won player of the year from the PGA of America (based on a points system) and the PGA Tour (a vote by players, said to be among the closest ever).
 
The GWAA selected Woods on 54 percent of the ballots.
 
Vijay Singh, who has a testy relationship with the media, wasn't even second. Ernie Els got 18 percent of the vote, while Singh came in third with 14 percent.
 
Woods led the PGA Tour with five victories, two of them World Golf Championships, and he won the Vardon Trophy with the second-lowest scoring average in history.
 
Singh had four victories and won the money title with $7.5 million, ending Woods' four-year reign. Els won twice on the PGA Tour, although he won five times overseas and won the European tour's money list.
 
The GWAA has 912 members, although a majority doesn't cover the PGA Tour on a regular basis. It includes public relations officials from golf organizations, equipment companies, player management agencies and regional golf and travel magazines.
 
Only 39 percent of the membership voted.
 
Annika Sorenstam won the GWAA female player of the year for the third straight time, getting 98.6 percent of the votes. She won six times, completed the LPGA career Grand Slam with two majors, and became the first woman in 58 years to play on the PGA Tour.
 
Tom Watson was the GWAA senior player of the year, winning two majors on the Champions Tour and winning the money title during an emotional year with his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who is dying of Lou Gehrig's disease. Watson received 93 percent of the vote.
 
Watson won the GWAA player of the year six times, including four straight years from 1977-80.
 

Time matters: Darren Clarke and Ben Curtis both got off to a bad start at the Target World Challenge and were in the first pairing the last three days.
 
They were 19 strokes behind the leader Sunday when Clarke ambled onto the practice range with a cup of coffee and a message for the 26-year-old rookie.
 
''All right, let's get one thing clear. We need to play fast today,'' Clarke said with a big grin. ''My plane doesn't leave until quarter of nine, but I've got a lot to do.''
 
Curtis smiled back and said, ''Is four hours good enough?''
 
''No,'' Clarke said.
 
They played the first hole in six minutes, and finished the round in just under three hours.
 
Frequent flyer: No one will be in more dire need of a holiday break than Robert Allenby of Australia, who is playing seven straight weeks on four continents.
 
His journey began with the Tour Championship in Houston, followed by a trip to Japan for the Taheiyo Masters. Allenby next flew to South Africa for the Presidents Cup and the Nedbank Challenge, then went home and won the Australian Masters two weeks ago.
 
He planned to take a break last week, but when David Toms withdrew from the Target World Challenge because of a wrist injury, Allenby decided to take his spot and flew to California on Monday. He finished eighth and earned $195,000.
 
He was due to arrive in Australia on Tuesday, just in time for his 36-hole charity event (which raised $1 million). Allenby will be at Yarra Yarra for 12 hours, then attend a black-tie dinner until midnight.
 
He has a Thursday afternoon tee time for the Australian Open at Moonah Links, a course he has never seen.
 
Then what?
 
Back to Florida, where he plans to spend the holidays with his wife and two children.
 
''I'm going to Jesper Parnevik's party on New Year's Eve,'' he said. ''You can't miss that.''
 

Final race: Only two tournaments remain in 2003 that count toward the World Ranking, which is significant because The Masters takes the top 50 in the world at the end of the year.
 
Among those on the bubble are Loren Roberts (No. 47), who can only hope no one passes him after the Australian Open or the Okinawa Open on the Asian Tour.
 
Scott Hoch was No. 49 two weeks ago, but he already has dropped 10 spots.
 
Not to worry. Hoch isn't likely to lose any sleep over this.
 
Asked in September about falling out of the top 50 and missing out on The Masters, he feigned dismay.
 
''Oh, that would be a shame,'' Hoch said
 
Hoch, who came within a 30-inch putt of winning the 1989 Masters, says the revamped Augusta National has become too tough for him to enjoy it, or at least look forward to it.
 
''When you finish, it's the happiest you've been all week,'' he said.
 

Divots: Donna Andrews has been re-elected president of the LPGA Tour executive committee. ... Darren Clarke took up PGA Tour membership for 2004, but he's not ready to buy a home. He plans to rent a house near Jupiter, Fla., for a month so he can have a place to stay during the run to The Masters. ... Vijay Singh wasn't completely shut out of the awards. He was selected as golfer of the month by European media for winning the PGA Tour money title over Tiger Woods. ... The two biggest sports in Daytona Beach, Fla., will join forces early next year when the LPGA and NASCAR have a charity pro-am Feb. 4-5. Amateurs will be paired with an LPGA Tour player for nine holes and a NASCAR driver or racing celebrity for another nine holes on the Legends course at LPGA International. ... Joining Ben Curtis and John Daly as European tour members next year will be Rob Rashell, who got his card through European Q-school. His only claim to fame so far is being born on Dec. 30, 1975, the same day as Tiger Woods.
 

Stat of the week: Annika Sorenstam won as much money ($225,000) in one Skins Game appearance as Tiger Woods in four appearances.
 
Final word: 'Are you media?'' -- Tiger Woods, when asked by ABC Sports announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Curtis Strange if they would be invited to his wedding.
 
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