Tiger Tackles Atlanta

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Each year the PGA Championship rolls around, ready to crown the seasons final major winner.

And each year, the PGA Championship endures the slings and arrows fired by critics who say the tournament truly brings up the rear in accordance to major championships.
 
However, things were different in 2000.
 
The final major was the most compelling. The most competitive. The most intense. Quite simply, the best tournament of the year.
 
Complete Coverage of the 2000 PGA Championship
 
Tiger Woods was looking for his second consecutive Wannamaker Trophy. Looking for his third straight major. Looking to cap possibly the greatest individual season ever.
 
All the while, the public was just looking for a challenge, a bit of drama.
 
Such was found that Sunday afternoon in Louisville, Kent.
 
It wasnt provided by David Duval. It wasnt provided by Phil Mickelson. It wasnt provided by Vijay Singh.
 
It was provided by Bob May.
 
May was Tiger before Eldrick. He tore up the junior circuit in Southern California, setting records that Tiger, in time, would break.
 
But Mays professional accomplishments never equaled that of his amateur days. At least not until that Sunday at Valhalla Golf Club.
 
Playing in the final pairing with Woods, May matched the worlds No. 1 ranked player shot for shot down the stretch, with both men coming home in just 31 strokes.
 
On the 72nd hole, May needed to make an 18-footer to stay alive. His birdie effort broke oncebroke twiceand gently dropped into the hole.
 
Tiger then confidently made a four-footer to force the first three-hole playoff in tournament history.
 
To the 16th the two combatants went, where Tiger made television highlight history by nearly picking his ball out of the hole before it fell in for birdie.
 
That putt proved to be the difference as both men parred the final two playoff holes.

The scene now shifts to the Atlanta Athletic Club in Atlanta, Ga. Its the first time the PGA of America has played the 7,213-yard, par-70 Highlands Course since Marietta resident Larry Nelson won the first of his three majors here in 1981.
 
This is the 83rd playing of the Championship. It began in 1916, when department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker hinted at the need for an annual all-professional tournament.
 
Wanamaker put up $2,500 as part of the prize fund, and voila!
 
Eighty-five years later, the 150 participants will vie for $5 million, with $900,000 going to the winner.
 
But more than gold coins and a silver trophy are on the line this week. For many, a spot on the 2001 Ryder Cup team is at stake.
 
This is the final event for U.S. players to qualify for the matches, to be contested in late September.
 
Many, including the man himself, will be trying to duplicate Brad Faxon's feat in 1995. On the outside looking in, Faxon shot a final-round 63 in the PGA Championship to lock up the 10th-and-final automatic spot on the team.
 
Faxon is currently 11th in the standings.
 
Aside from Tigers back-to-back victories in 1999 and 2000, the seasons final major has been known for crowning a first-time major champion.
 
From 1988 to 1998, only one victor had a previous major under his belt ' Nick Price in 1994.
 
That bodes well for those trying to make the trip to The Belfry for the Ryder Cup. Nos. 10 through 17 on the American side are '0-fer' in major championships.