Return to the Golf Today Home Page All the latest golf news Coverage of all the worlds major tours For all your golfing needs Golf Course Directory Out on the course Golf related travel Whats going on, message board, links and more!
Worldwide Feature Articles
Golftoday Latest
PGA: Stephen Ames coasts to six shot win
PGA: Tiger Woods ends difficult week with 75
Euro: Van de Velde ends 13 year victory wait
Stephen Ames vaults to World No. 27
Boost for the Philippine Open
Tiger Woods misses practice to be with father

Tiger Woods still only getting started

Bobby Jones won the Grand Slam in 1930, was treated to a ticker-tape parade in New York, then quietly retired from golf at age 28.

Don't waste any confetti on Tiger Woods.

He's only getting started.

Still a decade away from reaching his prime, the 25-year-old Woods became the first player in modern golf to win four straight professional majors with another clutch performance in The Masters.

"I've had some special things happen to me,'' Woods said. "But to win four consecutive majors ... I don't think I've ever accomplished anything this great.''

It was only fitting that Woods claimed such an astounding feat at Augusta National, a course that Jones conceived for a tournament he created in 1934.

While Woods added his sixth major to continue a rapid pursuit of the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, his unique version of the Grand Slam was linked with Jones, who won the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open and British Amateur in 1930.

Woods's clean sweep of the majors covered 294 days over two seasons -- his 15-stroke victory in the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in June, the Open at St. Andrews and a thrilling playoff victory at the PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods receives his second Masters jacket. Allsport.

The remarkable journey ended at Augusta in a dramatic final round against chief rivals David Duval and Phil Mickelson, both seeking their first major.

"It's very difficult to win any of these major golf tournaments,'' Duval said after missing birdie chances on the final two holes to finish two strokes behind, the fourth straight year he was in contention at The Masters.

Woods now has won five of the last six majors, has been in the lead 13 of the past 16 rounds in the majors and has played the last four in 65-under par.

Whether his sweep should be considered a slam is subject to debate. Arnold Palmer, who created the idea of a professional Grand Slam in 1960, said his idea was winning them all in a calendar year. Nicklaus agrees.

Woods stayed out of the argument, noting with satisfaction that he can line up all four of the trophies on his coffee table at home.

Not long after he holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 4-under 68 and a four-day total of 272, talk swiftly changed from defining a Grand Slam to defining Woods.

There appears to be no limit.

Already, he has won as many majors as Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino. His next one will put him in the same group as Harry Vardon, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead and Palmer (Jones also won seven professional majors, along with six amateur majors).

Woods is a dynasty unto himself.

In a career that began five years ago, he already has won 27 times in just 98 starts on the PGA Tour. With three more victories, he will break Nicklaus's record for the most PGA Tour wins before turning 30.

He won his sixth major in only his 17th try as a professional. Nicklaus had five majors in his 17th start.

"I don't know what you would compare it to because I'm not so sure there's something you could compare with ... in modern golf,'' Duval said.

Indeed, Woods has been beyond compare, especially when the pressure is the greatest.

One of the most dangerous hole at Augusta is the par-4 11th, with a green that slopes toward a pond on the left. Woods choked down on an 8-iron from 149 yards and his shot grazed the cup for a tap-in birdie and a lead he never surrendered.

Clinging to a one-stroke lead over the final three holes, Woods refused to make the kind of mistake that haunted his challengers.

Duval hit a 7-iron over the green on the par-3 16th and missed an 8-foot putt for par. Mickelson, playing in the final group with Woods, left his tee shot on the top shelf of the green and missed a par putt from about the same spot as Duval.

"He simply does what is required,'' said Mickelson, who played Augusta's back nine in even par and finished three strokes behind.

Duval also missed birdie chances on the 17th and 18th, the last one from about 5 feet that would have tied him with Woods.

That set the stage for Woods. Once he found his drive in the fairway on No. 18, he and caddie Steve Williams slapped hands and Woods put the final touch on an incredible feat. He hit a sand wedge into 15 feet and holed the putt, raising both arms in triumph.

Exhausted from a pursuit that began in June, Woods returned to his home in Orlando, Fla., and will not play again until the Byron Nelson Classic next month.

In the meantime, he can line up the trophies from the four major championships on his coffee table before having to return the U.S. Open trophy when he defends that title at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., in June.

"A Grand Slam is something we've never seen before,'' said Butch Harmon, his swing coach. "But we may see it before we're done.''

Jones once said of a young Nicklaus that "he plays a game with which I am not familiar.'' No telling what he might think of Woods.

Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page