For Better or Worse 2004 Coming to a Close


04 Target World ChallengeThe 16-man field at the Target World Challenge could be divided into two sections: 1) Those who wish 2004 would never end and 2) Those who cant wait until it comes to a close.
In the first group, you would have, of course, Vijay Singh. Singh did just about everything in 04. He won nine times, overtook Tiger Woods for No. 1 on the Official World Golf Ranking, claimed his third career major championship, and all but assured himself of a future spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
This group would also include Todd Hamilton. Hamilton went from journeyman to world conqueror when he captured the Open Championship in a playoff over Ernie Els. He also won the Honda Classic and is the leading candidate for rookie of the year honors.
Theres Stewart Cink, who picked up a pair of trophies, ending a four-year winless streak in the process. Theres John Daly, whose Buick Invitational triumph was his first on the PGA Tour since the 1995 British Open. Theres Stephen Ames, who earned his maiden tour title and had eight top-10 finishes in a 10-tournament stretch. Theres Jay Haas, who didnt win, but at the age of 50, finished 27th on the money list and became the oldest-ever player to make a Ryder Cup team. Theres Miguel Angel Jimenez, who won five times on the European Tour, including last week's Hong Kong Open, and was a contributing factor in Europes runaway Ryder Cup victory. And theres Fred Couples, who makes most of his money this time of the year and simply doesnt want to see the calendar turn to January.
Then theres the other side, led by tournament host Tiger Woods.
Woods won only once on tour in 2004, dropped to third in the world rankings at one point, and didnt win a major for the second straight season. But, he got married a couple of months ago and won in Japan a couple of weeks ago. And after a couple of weeks off following this event, he will be anxious to start playing on the record in 2005.
Woods is accompanied in his group by defending Target champion Davis Love III, who also won here in 2000. Loves most recent Target triumph was his fifth win in 2003. This year, he is batting .000. He earned a pair of runner-up finishes early in the season, but didnt contend for a title after March.
Theres 2002 Target winner Padraig Harrington, who hopes to finally become a major success in 2005. Theres Jim Furyk, who hopes to regain his high-caliber form following wrist surgery. Theres Chris DiMarco, who showed he is a major contender, but is still in search of his first win since 2002. Theres Chad Campbell, who won at Bay Hill but imploded thereafter, missing the cut in three of the four majors and bombing at the Ryder Cup. Theres Kenny Perry, who followed up a three-win 2003 with an 0-fer in 04. And then theres Colin Montgomerie, who seems content in his personal life and looks ready to focus fully on his profession.
This is the sixth edition of this event. It was initially held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., when Tom Lehman won in 1999. It moved the following year to Sherwood Country Club and has since been contested on the Thousand Oaks, Calif., course.
The purse is $5,250,000, with the winner getting $1.2 million. The format is four rounds of medal play, with no cut.
Tournament proceeds go to the Tiger Woods Foundation.
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