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Tiger Woods’ first PGA Tour title, 25 years on: Remembering his win on the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational | Golf Information

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October 6 marks the twenty fifth anniversary of Tiger Woods’ maiden PGA Tour title. We glance again at highlights from his breakthrough win on the Las Vegas Invitational.

October 6 marks the twenty fifth anniversary of Tiger Woods’ maiden PGA Tour title. We glance again at highlights from his breakthrough win on the Las Vegas Invitational.

It’s typically troublesome to fathom, however the media circus has travelled with Tiger Woods since earlier than social media dominated our world. As a reminder, harken again 25 years – October 6, 1996, to be precise – when the 20-year-old Woods broke via for his first PGA Tour win in simply his fifth begin.

Whereas the variety of journalists on-site could have been skinny in comparison with this week’s Shriners Kids’s Open – or no less than when in comparison with a month earlier, when Woods made his professional debut in Milwaukee or a number of weeks prior when he obtained into rivalry on the Quad Metropolis Basic in Illinois – the Vegas storylines have been plentiful.

Fuelled largely, after all, by gamers who have been none too proud of the nice buzz surrounding Woods. “Every little thing has been Tiger, Tiger,” moaned Fred Funk. “They type of overlook about everybody else out right here.”

 Victory was the first of two PGA Tour wins for Woods in 1996

Victory was the primary of two PGA Tour wins for Woods in 1996

Such chatter didn’t fluster Woods, who may need arrived on the Las Vegas Invitational too younger to partake within the casinos – “I can watch, that is about it,” he shrugged – however he was already battle-tested when it got here to media scrutiny and greater than able to brushing apart the petty critiques.

Equally spectacular was Woods’ capability to nonchalantly put behind him the form of pedestrian opening spherical that he produced at Las Vegas Hilton, one in all three programs used for the five-round Las Vegas Invitational. With a 70, Woods was eight off Rick Fehr’s lead.

By now, Woods already had already demonstrated the explosive expertise that lifted him to 3 consecutive wins within the U.S. Newbie. After a tie for sixtieth in his debut in Milwaukee, Woods ran off a T11 in Canada, a share of fifth in Quad Metropolis, and a T3 on the B.C. Open. He had shot within the 60s in seven of eight rounds previous to Vegas, so nobody was shocked when Woods adopted that 70 with a surprising 63 on the host course, TPC Summerlin, and a 68 at Desert Inn to push right into a tie for eighth, six off Fehr’s lead.

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So, sorry, Mr. Funk, however it mattered little that seven gamers had higher 54-hole scores, or that luminaries comparable to Davis Love III, Fred {Couples}, Phil Mickelson, Payne Stewart and Jim Furyk have been in attendance. All spotlights targeted on Woods, particularly as a result of this was a 90-hole gap match, that means the child from Stanford had two extra rounds to make up the deficit.

Although the third spherical had stored Woods within the thick of issues, it had left him in ache – mentally and bodily. He had, in spite of everything, performed the entrance 9 in 5-under, so ending with 68 left him seething. However extra importantly, Woods had aggravated a groin harm that he insisted dated again to his U.S. Newbie win in August.

“(With) all of the golf I have been taking part in, I by no means gave it an opportunity to heal,” defined Woods.

 Victory was the first of two PGA Tour wins for Woods in 1996

Victory was the primary of two PGA Tour wins for Woods in 1996

His burning want to do the unbelievable – earn his PGA Tour card by ending within the prime 125 on the cash checklist in fewer than 10 begins – had prompted the heavy schedule. It had additionally ignited some controversy, too, as a result of citing burn-out, Woods had withdrawn from the Buick Problem and a dinner at which he was to obtain the Haskins Award because the nation’s prime collegiate golfer.

Oh, how that obtained the troops riled up.

“He’ll in all probability take just a little warmth for this,” predicted Peter Jacobsen, who was right. Love informed reporters, “He is a rookie and rookies make rookie errors,” whereas Stewart Cink, a earlier Haskins winner, was extra direct: “To a point I believe it offends all of the gamers who’ve gained that award.”

Every week later, Woods was in Vegas and let the criticism trip. “I obtained some messages from the blokes who mentioned they did not precisely say what was written,” he informed reporters. “These guys have been very good to me.”

His diplomatic abilities however, Woods had one other persona as soon as it got here time to peg it up for actual. Opponents already seen the ferocity of his focus.

Nursing that painful groin harm, Woods turned a quiet spherical into one thing very intriguing when he eagled the par-five sixteenth Saturday to shoot a five-under 67 and get inside 4 of the chief, Ronnie Black.

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Then, the magic that Woods had proven as an newbie and which might grow to be his calling card as knowledgeable poured forth at TPC Summerlin within the fifth spherical. A birdie on the first obtained the followers into an early frenzy, then got here an eagle on the par-five third to kick it up one other notch.

Woods stored his foot on the pedal. Birdies on the ninth, eleventh and thirteenth have been electrical. A birdie on the 14th pulled him right into a tie and a two-putt birdie on the sixteenth gave him the clubhouse lead. From the observe vary, Woods obtained phrase that Love had made a late eagle and birdie to drag into tie, at 27-under.

We look back at every celebration from all 82 of Tiger Woods' PGA Tour titles.

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We glance again at each celebration from all 82 of Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour titles.

We glance again at each celebration from all 82 of Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour titles.

Months earlier, younger and brash, Woods had informed Love that it was his dream to go head-to-head down the stretch and beat the established celebrity, to which Love had replied one thing like, “Good luck, I hope you get the possibility.”

A lot to Love’s chagrin, that probability arrived at TPC Summerlin and Woods wasted little time in cashing in. A fairway-splitting three-wood on the 18th gap, adopted by a nine-iron to twenty ft utilized the form of stress that will quickly grow to be his calling card.

“He would know I used to be in place for birdie,” Woods mentioned, confirming that it was his technique to hit first into the primary play-off gap.

Tiger Woods' win came in just his fifth PGA Tour start. [Credit: Sam Greenwood/PGA TOUR Archive]

Tiger Woods’ win got here in simply his fifth PGA Tour begin. [Credit: Sam Greenwood/PGA TOUR Archive]

The child’s maturity already uncanny, he was right; Love could not match the shot, delivering an 8-iron right into a left bunker. After Woods deftly two-putted for par, he watched Love miss a six-footer, so hats have been doffed and handshakes exchanged.

The outsized mock test for $297,000 nonetheless hangs in Woods’ workplace. However what resonates extra profoundly is the post-game quote from Love, then 32 and on the top of his profession.

“As dissatisfied as I’m, I am that a lot completely satisfied for him,” mentioned Love. “He is an excellent participant and he is nice for the TOUR.”

True then. True nonetheless, 25 years later.





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