Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Birthday Tiger Woods: A look back in pictures at Tiger's 14 Major victories

Tiger Woods is coming off his worst season as a professional in 2014.  And Woods hasn't won a major since his legendary 2008 U.S. Open victory on one leg. 


But today Tiger is happy.  Not just because it's his 39th birthday.  Tiger is happy because he's healthy again.  And he's excited about what that could mean in 2015 as he continues his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record 18 major championships.

So to celebrate Tiger's birthday, here's a look back in pictures at each of his 14 major victories. 

Major No. 1:  The Masters, 1997 
A 21-year old Tiger won his first major with a Masters-record 18-under par.  It was a "win for the ages." 


Major No. 2:  The PGA Championship, 1999 
Sergio Garcia stole the show at Medinah.  But Tiger snared the victory and Wanamaker Trophy. 


Major No. 3:  The U.S. Open, 2000 
Tiger annihilated Pebble Beach and the field to win his first U.S. Open championship, a record-setting 15-stroke victory over none-too-thrilled, runners-up Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez. 


Major No. 4:  The Open Championship, 2000 
Tiger was untouchable at The Old Course, and became the fifth (and youngest) player to complete a career Grand Slam. 


Major No. 5:  The PGA Championship, 2000 
Tiger was pushed to the limits by Bob May, but won his second straight PGA Championship in a three-hole playoff at Valhalla. 


Major No. 6:  The Masters, 2001 
Tiger held off David Duval and Phil Mickelson to complete the "Tiger Slam," and became the only golfer in history to hold all four major championship titles at the same time. 


Major No. 7:  The Masters, 2002 
With his second-consecutive Masters victory, Tiger became the youngest player (25-years old) to win seven major championships. 


Major No. 8:  The U.S. Open, 2002 
Tiger finished three shots ahead of runner-up Phil Mickelson at Bethpage Black, and became the first player since Jack Nicklaus to win both The Masters and U.S. Open in the same year. 


Major No. 9:  The Masters, 2005 
Highlighted by one of the most famous chip-ins in Masters history, Tiger defeated Chris DiMarco in a playoff for his fourth green jacket. 


Major No. 10:  The Open Championship, 2005 
Tiger dominated in a wire-to-wire victory at The Old Course and claimed his second Claret Jug. 


Major No. 11:  The Open Championship, 2006 
Tiger fought back tears after winning his third Open title and first major after losing his father to cancer.  By comparison, Nicklaus' first major victory after his father died was also The Open Championship. 


Major No. 12:  The PGA Championship, 2006 
Tiger became the first player to win the PGA Championship twice at the same venue, cruising to a five-stroke victory over Shaun Micheel at Medinah. 


Major No. 13:  The PGA Championship, 2007 
Tiger won his fourth PGA Championship by two strokes over Woody Austin at Southern Hills. 


Major No. 14:  The U.S. Open, 2008 
On a broken leg, with a torn ACL, Tiger outlasted Rocco Mediate in a playoff at Torrey Pines to win his third U.S. Open championship.  Tiger called it "probably the greatest tournament I ever had." 


It doesn't bode well for Tiger that in The Masters era (since 1934), no player has won more than three majors after their 39th birthday. 

Then again, Tiger's entire career has been about doing things no player in history has ever done before. 

Happy Birthday Tiger! 

Follow Pete on twitter @PGAPappas

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