Missing Tiger: 12 Great Majors Without Woods
SOUTHPORT, England -- Sure, it's not ideal that Tiger Woods isn't around for the British Open, but since his first major as a professional (the 1997 Masters) there have been a number of memorable championships without Tiger as a central figure. For starters, here are 12:
2004 Masters: Phil Mickelson finally wins his first major, going airborne (sort of) after making an 18-foot birdie on the final hole to beat Ernie Els by a stroke.
2006 U.S. Open: Mickelson's famous meltdown at Winged Foot, with Colin Montgomerie also setting himself on fire with a double-bogey finish to open the way for Geoff Ogilvy.
1999 British Open: Jean Van de Velde's crash and burn at Carnoustie, a bizarre triple-bogey 7 at the 72nd hole forcing a playoff won by Paul Lawrie.
2007 British Open: Sergio Garcia appears ready to win his first major, especially after Padraig Harrington nearly imitates Van de Velde with a double-bogey 6 at Carnoustie's 72nd hole, but Garcia's par putt doesn't drop, forcing a playoff won by Harrington.
1998 Masters: Mark O'Meara birdies three of the last four, including the 72nd, to beat David Duval and Fred Couples by a stroke.
1999 Masters: Jose Maria Olazabal, going head-to-head with Greg Norman, beats Norman by three (and Davis Love III by two) for a second green jacket.
2002 British Open: Well, Woods was a central figure, but not after a third-round 81 in the rain and wind at Muirfield ended his hopes of a Grand Slam for the year following wins at Augusta and Bethpage. Els won in a playoff with Thomas Levet, Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington.
2004 U.S. Open: Mickelson double-bogeys Shinnecock Hills' 17th hole after Retief Goosen birdies the 16th, and Goosen wins by two strokes.
2001 British Open: Duval breaks through at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
1997 PGA Championship: Love wins at Winged Foot, with a rainbow at the 72nd hole as set decoration.
2001 PGA Championship: David Toms lays up on the par-4 72nd hole but makes par to beat Mickelson at Atlanta Athletic Club.
2005 PGA Championship: Tiger finishes only two strokes behind Mickelson at Baltusrol, which ordinarily would be enough to make him a central figure in the championship, but he didn't bother hanging around for Phil's Monday finish, flying home on Sunday night, confident he wouldn't make a potential playoff.