The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Tiger Strikes at The Players

Every golf fan has the names of the sport’s four major championships committed to memory: The Masters, the United States Open, the British Open, and the PGA Championship. But, contrary to the belief of the non-golf fan, there is an unofficial “fifth major”, The Players Championship.


In 1974, the Professional Golf Association held the inaugural Players Championship at Atlanta Country Club. From 1974 to 1976, the championship was held at three different venues, but in 1977 The Players landed in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, which has been the home for the tournament for the past thirty six years.  The Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach has been the official site of The Players Championship since 1982. The 39th edition of The Players was played during the week of May 9-12, and had all the storylines for an instant classic.


The tournament got off to a fast start with Roberto Castro firing a record-tying nine under par 63 on the first day of competition. But as golf tournaments have proven time and time again, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Castro ended up shooting fifteen shots worse the next day, which dropped him out of contention.


For the final three rounds, the spotlight fell on the renewed rivalry between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, one that dates back to the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah. The two were paired together for the final tee time on Saturday with Sergio leading Tiger by one shot.


Their round got off to an ordinary start at the first with both players making par, but no one was prepared for what would happen at the second hole, a 532 yard par 5.


Woods snapped his tee shot into the trees on the left and Garcia was on the right side of the fairway, in perfect position to reach the green in two shots. As Woods was deciding how to maneuver his ball out of the pine straw, Garcia took the opportunity to go for the green. As Garcia was finishing his backswing, he heard a cheer from the crowd coming from Woods’ direction but continued with the shot.  Sergio ended up slicing his ball into the trees and made bogey. After the round, the Spaniard explained that Woods had distracted him by pulling out his 5-wood, which signaled to the crowd that Tiger was going for the green. Woods told the media that the rules official had told him that Sergio had already played his shot. The bogey cost Sergio a precious stroke, and was tied with Tiger heading into the final round.


Thankfully, the rivals were not paired together for the final round or we would have seen some real fireworks. As it does every year, The Players Championship came down to the 17th hole, the famous island green par 3. Tiger was up one shot heading into the famed par 3 and proceeded to hit to the center of the green, leaving a tough two putt to the legendary front right hole location. Woods judged his putt beautifully, and tapped in safely for a par.


Sergio had just birdied the par 5 16th to tie Tiger and stood on the tee box at the 17th with a share of the lead, which proved to last only a couple seconds.  Garcia knocked his two shots. He finally hit the green on his third attempt and two putted for a quadruple bogey.


Woods’ lead grew from zero shots to four in the blink of an eye. Tiger went on to par the 18th hole, outlasting the charging David Lingmerth to secure his second Players Championship, his fourth win of the season. The golfing world now has its eyes on Merion Golf Club, the site of the U.S. Open, where Woods will be the overwhelming favorite.

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