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Cleansweep of awards for Woods again

Tiger Woods won the Vardon Trophy on Sunday, the third consecutive season he has had the lowest scoring average on the PGA Tour.

Woods also won the PGA Tour money title for the third straight season, making him the first player since Tom Watson from 1977-79 to sweep golf's two biggest indicators for three straight years.

``It wasn't quite as good as last year, but it was still a pretty darn good year,'' Woods said after finishing the Tour Championship in a tie for 13th.

Woods was coming off a record-setting season, winning 12 times around the world -- nine of those on the PGA Tour -- including three straight majors.

He set the record for the adjusting scoring average at 68.17, and won the Vardon Trophy this year with an average adjusted score of 68.81. Davis Love III was second at 69.06.

Woods won the money title with nearly $5.7 million, down from $9.1 million last year.

``When I won 12 times around the world ... it's kind of hard to duplicate,'' Woods said.

Still, he had few complaints.

Woods won five times on the PGA Tour, twice more than anyone else. He went five tournaments without winning -- the longest he has gone to start a season in his professional career -- but then won three straight.

The last of those was the biggest, a two-shot victory at the Masters that made him the first player to win four straight professional majors.

``I had a chance to do something no one has ever done before in our sport, and I somehow was able to pull it off,'' Woods said. ``That's something I'll always remember. This year has been a successful year.''

Woods had only one top-10 finish since early June, winning the NEC Invitational at Firestone in a seven-hole playoff over Jim Furyk.

He already has clinched the PGA of America's player of the year award, which is based on points for victories, money earned and scoring average. He is a big favorite to win the PGA Tour's award, which is decided by a vote of the players.

The tour's other awards also will be voted on later this month.

Leading candidates for rookie of the year include U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, two-time winner Jose Coceres of Argentina and Charles Howell, who began the season with no status and nearly earned enough money to qualify for the Tour Championship.

The comeback player of the year figures to be a choice between Bernhard Langer, who qualified for the Tour Championship for the first time since its inception in 1987, and John Daly, who had four top-10s this year and won nearly as much money as his past five years combined.


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