November 24, 2009

News Stories Of The Decade

Golf World readers and staff weigh in on the Top 10 news stories from the past decade

Both the readers and editors agree: The Tiger Slam was the biggest golf news story of the last 10 years.

Both the readers and editors agree: The Tiger Slam was the biggest golf news story of the last 10 years.

For the past month Golfworld.com has asked web users to pick their 10 favorite news stories of the decade from a supplied list of 25 events that defined the sport. We also asked editors and writers to give us their top-10 lists. When all the votes were counted, the top story on both ballots was the remarkable Tiger Slam of 2000-01.

We didn't know it at the time, but Woods' overwhelming 15-stroke victory at the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach was the beginning of a run never before seen in professional golf. He followed that with a 12-stroke British Open win at St. Andrews to become the youngest player to accomplish the career grand slam; a stunning playoff title over Bob May in the 2000 PGA; and a ho-hum two-stroke win over David Duval at the 2001 Masters that allowed him to become the first pro to hold all four major titles simultaneously.

Here are your picks for the decade's biggest stories, followed by the staff's slightly different selections.

1. The Tiger Slam. Woods becomes the first person to own all four professional major titles at the same time.

2. Playing on a broken leg, Tiger Woods outlasts Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open.

3. Phil Mickelson finally wins a major, edging Ernie Els by one stroke in the 2004 Masters.

Newsmakers

4. Annika Sorenstam shoots the only 59 in LPGA history at the Standard Register Ping in 2001.

5. Stewart Cink beats 59-year-old Tom Watson in a playoff at the 2009 British Open.

6. Annika Sorenstam plays the 2003 Bank of America Colonial, the first woman to compete in a PGA Tour event since '45.

7. Y.E. Yang does the impossible, overtakes Tiger Woods on Sunday to win the PGA Championship in 2009.

8. The International Olympic Committee announces golf will return to the 2016 Games in Brazil.

9. Phil Mickelson double bogeys the last hole at Winged Foot to miss out on a third-straight major at the 2006 U.S. Open.

10. Tiger Woods wins seven straight PGA Tour events from the 2006 British Open through the 2007 Buick Invitational.

Editors' Picks:

1. The Tiger Slam: A sustained high-wattage story with some big lightning strikes along the way.

2. Tiger beats Rocco on a broken leg: The wounded star, the likable everyman challenger, the playoff and the venue made for a memorable week.

3. Annika plays Colonial: We all had goosebumps when Sorenstam struck her first shot and feigned weak-kneed relief while following it off the tee.

Newsmakers

4. Mickelson's Winged Foot meltdown: There may not have been a Mickelslam, but Phil should have gone to Royal Liverpool having won three straight majors.

5. The Martha Burk affair: Her very public battle with Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson over membership policies lasted more than a year.

6. The 2004 Masters: When Mickelson beat Ernie Els, we all breathed a sigh of relief.

7. Ms. 59: Sorenstam's stirring round made us believe in Vision 54.

8. The 2009 British Open: Even Stewart Cink felt bad for Tom Watson.

9. Golf is named an Olympic sport: It will be a bigger story in seven years.

10. Casey Martin: In a landmark 2001 case, the Supreme Court allowed him to use a cart in competition under the Americans with Disabilities Act.