It wasn't the best season of Woods' career, but even the No. 1 player in the world would never complain about seven wins and three seconds in 16 events. Woods' 67.79 stroke average matched the lowest of his 11 full seasons on tour. And his victory at the PGA Championship gives him 13 major championships as a professional, only five short of Jack Nicklaus' record. "I know I've had some nice success on the golf course, won some tournaments, including a major championship," said Woods. "But this year, having the birth of our first child, has been just truly amazing. My life right now is a complete, full opposite of what it was a year ago. Couldn't be happier. I think it's fantastic."
In his first year on the PGA Tour, Snedeker shot 61 at Torrey Pines (North Course), won a tour event (Wyndham Championship) and played well in the U.S. Open (T-23) and PGA Championship (T-18). By winning more than $2.8 million in prize money, he finished 17th on the PGA Tour money list. "My main goal this year was to finish in the top 70 so I'd be exempt for the invitationals next year," Snedeker said. "I'm not going to lie to you and say I saw myself doing that, because I really didn't. I was just trying to work hard, and hopefully good things would happen." Clearly, they did.
When you jump from 51st in the World Ranking to No. 7 in just 12 months, you've obviously had a great year. Somehow, Rose made that leap without a win on the PGA Tour. He did win the season-ending Volvo Masters on the European tour to finish No. 1 on that tour's Order of Merit. But perhaps his most notable rise was in the four majors, where Rose finished T-5 at the Masters, T-10 at the U.S. Open and T-12 at both the British Open and the PGA Championship.
After winning the U.S. Amateur Public Links in July, the SMU All-American added the U.S. Amateur in August to become just the second golfer to win both in the same year. A second-round 64 at the PGA Tour's EDS Byron Nelson Championship (believed to be the lowest score on tour by an amateur since 1966) helped him make the cut in his hometown event. Later, he was 2-0-2 for the victorious U.S. Walker Cup team.
The most consistent rookie on the LPGA Tour in 2007, Park missed only one cut in 28 events and earned almost $1 million on the strength of eight top-10 finishes. She didn't win a tournament, but she tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles.
Winless in four prior seasons on tour, Pettersen became a star in 2007. Her five tour victories included a major (LPGA Championship), and she surged from No. 58 to No. 4 in the World Ranking. "I think it's going to be a while before I can--before any of us--are going to catch Lorena," says Pettersen, "but we have to start somewhere."
Lewis is our top-ranked women's amateur for the second consecutive year, not only because she won the individual title at the NCAA Championship and the Southern Amateur but also because she was the unofficial winner of the rain-shortened LPGA event in Arkansas in September. Lewis shot a seven-under 65 in the first round to lead the field, but the tournament was called off after 18 holes and declared unofficial. In April, Lewis tied for fifth at the LPGA's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Uihlein, our No. 1-ranked junior boy two years ago, recaptured the top spot in 2007. His win at the FootJoy Boys Invitational at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., as well as top-five finishes in four other junior major tournaments and a runner-up at the Sunnehanna Amateur, sealed the top ranking. The son of Acushnet chairman and CEO Wally Uihlein will begin his college career at Oklahoma State this fall. The Cowboys won the NCAA Championship in 2006.
Decisive wins at the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship, Ping Invitational and Birks & Mayors Championship earned Hurst the No. 1 ranking. To cap her championship season, she was medalist at the Duramed Futures Tour Q school.
After five unsuccessful years on the PGA Tour (1976-'80), Lee regained his amateur status and won eight Arkansas state amateur titles. In 2007, he won the USGA Senior Amateur. "Since 1980, I've felt like there's been a monkey on my back, that I failed at something," Lee said. "It's like it's OK now. I failed at the tour, but I got something better. Winning a USGA amateur event is the ultimate. I can pass away in peace now."
Playing in the championship match of the USGA Senior Women's Amateur for the second consecutive year, Schultz defeated Robyn Puckett on the 20th hole to win her first USGA title. Schultz also won the Women's Southern Senior Championship in 2007.
She wins our Mickey Wright Award for her eight victories in 2007, and a case could be made that Ochoa was every bit as dominant on her tour as Tiger Woods was on his. Ochoa officially overtook Annika Sorenstam as the No. 1 player in women's golf in April. Seven wins, including a major, followed.