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Are you ready for the first annual 'Oscar Browns?' Not to be confused with the Oscars, the Oscar Browns, as long as I am filling this space, will be a yearly compendium of golf awards. 'Oscar Brown,' for the uninitiated, is golf parlance for 'out of bounds' or 'OB' which are the initials for Oscar Brown.
 
Without further ado: The 2003 Oscar Browns:
 
PLAYER OF THE YEAR, MEN: Vijay Singh. Tiger had his chances, most notably at the recent Tour Championship where he scored indifferently. This, by the way, will not sit well with Woods and will make 2004 fascinating because of the pressure Woods will put on himself to return to the level he reached in 2000.
 
PLAYER OF THE YEAR, WOMEN: Annika Sorenstam. If Sports Illustrated does not name her its Sportsperson of the Year, the magazine's editors should be ashamed of themselves.
 
PLAYER OF THE YEAR (non gender specific): Sorenstam. This is not to say she is a better player than, say, Woods. Of course she isn't. What it says is she had a better year achieving what she set out to achieve (on golf's big stages) than any other golfer in the world.
 
PUTT OF THE YEAR: No, not the bloodless winner by Hilary Lunke in the playoff for the U.S. Women's Open. The putt of the year was the 25-footer by Angela Stanford, seconds earlier, that forced Lunke to make her putt. Mike Weir's 7-footer on the 72nd hole at The Masters to force a playoff with Len Mattiace was a close second.
 
DRIVE OF THE YEAR: Easy. Annika's tee ball on the 10th hole (her first) on Thursday of the Bank of America Colonial. The whole sports world was watching her play against the men. She split the fairway.
 
IRON OF THE YEAR: Shaun Micheel's 7-iron to two inches on the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. So far, this tournament-winning swing also doubles as shot of the century.
 
PLAYER OF THE YEAR, JUNIOR: Lest we forget, Michelle Wie is still only 14 years old.
 
BEST STORY OF THE YEAR: Tie between women (Sorenstam, Wie, Whaley, Pak et. al.) playing in men's events and the magical mystery tour of Tom Watson and his brave caddie Bruce Edwards as Edwards fights the good fight against Lou Gehrig's disease.
 
WORST STORY OF THE YEAR: And, to be sure, there are two sides to it. Marco Dawson's delayed reporting of rules violations that cost Esteban Toledo and Brandel Chamblee dearly. Dawson's fellow pros are still shaking their heads in disbelief. Dawson maintains that a violation is a violation and reporting it late is better than not reporting it at all.
 
CADDIE OF THE YEAR: Pete Coleman. This veteran looper was the bedrock upon which Lee Westwood mounted his remarkable comeback.
 
COMEBACK OF THE YEAR: Lee Westwood. (See above).
 
PUZZLE OF THE YEAR: The continuing saga of former world No. 1 David Duval and his free fall into golf's abyss. It says here Duval will be back. But the mountain he must climb to get there looks a little more like Everest every month.
 
BEST GRACE UNDER FIRE: The aplomb Thomas Bjorn managed in the moments after he had squandered away the Open Championship in a bunker late Sunday. Bjorn, a Dane whose English intonations and inflections sound eerily like that of Sean Connery, a Scot, was a model of sportsmanship in defeat.
 
UP AND DOWN OF THE YEAR: Woods' 'sandy' on his 36th hole at Augusta National to make the weekend on the number at the Masters and keep his remarkable string of made cuts alive.
 
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