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Golf News: - Posted 10th January 1998

Woods gets 1997 Player of the Year - Palmer the
Lifetime Achievement Award

Carlsbad, California. - Tiger Woods has been voted 1997 Player of the Year by his fellow competitors and Arnold Palmer received the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award.

Woods, who was voted the 1996 Rookie of the Year, also received the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the 1997 US money list during the annual USPGA Tour awards dinner held during the Mercedes Championships at the La Costa Resort and Spa.

"Earning their respect for your game is the most important part," Woods said about the vote by his fellow players. "I've made my presence known on the tour," he said. "I've proven myself to the other players."

Woods won four tournaments in his first full year on the PGA Tour, including the Masters by a record 12 strokes, and earned a record $2,066,833.

Hale Irwin, who won nine times last year, was voted the Senior PGA Tour Player of the Year. Gil Morgan was the Senior PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and George Archer was the Senior Comeback Player of the Year.

The tour also announced that the Player of the Year honours on both the regular tour and the Senior tour will now be known as the Jack Nicklaus Award.

Palmer was the third person honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, joining Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson.

Palmer's return to La Costa to receive the award was especially satisfying because he left here immediately after the awards dinner last year when tests showed that he had prostate cancer. Palmer, 68, returned to competition less than three months after surgery.

Other award winners announced Friday night included Stewart Cink as PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and Bill Glasson as Comeback Player of the Year. Nick Price won the Byron Nelson award for the lowest stroke average at 68.98.

The Charity of the Year Award went to Martha's Kitchen of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. The PGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour and Nike Tour combined to raise $43 million for charity in 1997.

The Card Walker Award for the person or group doing the most for junior golf went to Renee Powell for her involvement with a youth program in East Canton, Ohio.