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Spieth´s breakthrough, Garcia´s Masters moment - Events between Tiger´s triumphs

24 九月 2018 00:40

Tiger Woods returned to winning ways at the Tour Championship on Sunday, battling through a lengthy period of adversity for his first triumph since 2013.

The 14-time major champion's previous victory on the PGA Tour came over five years ago at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, and the golfing landscape has changed significantly in that time.

While Woods was trying to recuperate from a series of back surgeries, new stars emerged, records were broken and a few of the sport's more seasoned professionals got a long-awaited taste of glory.

Here, we look at what happened in the world of golf between Woods' most recent victories.

 

SPIETH ASCENDANCY

Jordan Spieth turned professional in 2012 and joined the PGA Tour the following year, claiming his first victory aged 19 at the John Deere Classic.

He was named the Tour's 2013 Rookie of the Year - Woods took the Player of the Year award - and has enjoyed a meteoric rise that has seen him claim three major titles.

The first of those came at the 2015 Masters when he stormed to the coveted green jacket by tying Woods' 72-hole record with a 270 (18 under) at Augusta. He added the U.S. Open title later that year and triumphed at The Open in 2017.

A NEW GLOBAL STAGE

Golf returned to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years at Rio 2016.

The gold medal in the men's competition - which did not include the likes of Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day due to fears over the Zika virus - went to Justin Rose.

Could Woods have a shot at Tokyo 2020?

RECORD FOR FURYK

Furyk claimed a slice of history at the Travelers Championship in August 2016 when he shot the first 58 on the PGA Tour.

The 2003 U.S. Open champion posted 10 birdies and an eagle in a phenomenal display. However, it was only good enough to finish in fifth position.

"I've got like 300 pictures at home with 59 on them – got to throw all that c**p away," joked Furyk after his record-breaking round.

USA REGAIN RYDER CUP

Woods was part of the United States team that lost to Europe in 2010 and 2012, but his back issues forced him to pull out of the following edition at Gleneagles.

Paul McGinley's team made it three in a row with a 16.5-11.5 victory, but the USA claimed their third win in nine attempts at Hazeltine in 2016.

Woods had a non-playing role in that triumph as one of Davis Love III's vice-captains and was set to serve the same role this year at Le Golf National until he ended up making the team.

GARCIA BREAKS THROUGH

Woods and Sergio Garcia came through at around the same time and were involved in a phenomenal battle at the 1999 US PGA Championship, where the American came out on top for his second major by a single stroke.

Garcia was tipped for big things but was unable to stay on track with Woods' trajectory, taking 74 attempts to finally win one of golf's big four competitions.

He beat Justin Rose in a dramatic play-off at the 2017 Masters to get off the mark aged 37.

AMAZING GRACE

He may have been ranked 35th in the world, but Branden Grace made history when he carded the first 62 in major history at the 2017 Open Championship

The South African turned in a blemish-free scorecard featuring eight birdies at Royal Birkdale, setting a new benchmark after 31 rounds of 63 had been recorded on the grandest stage.

He was initially unaware of the magnitude of the occasion, though, revealing: "I didn't know what was going on on 18. I promise you."

 

 

KOEPKA MAKES MAJOR MARK

While Woods' comeback has been picking up in pace, another American has been making an impressive mark at major championships.

Brooks Koepka tasted victory in the U.S. Open last June, and went on to defend his title this year, before edging out Woods to add the US PGA Championship in August, his third major in the space of 14 months.

MUSICAL CHAIRS AT WORLD NUMBER ONE SPOT

Since Woods relinquished top spot in golf's world rankings in May 2014 having spent a record 683 weeks of his career at world number one, the leadership of the rankings has changed on 15 occasions. 

Six of those lead changes have seen players reach the pinnacle for the first time in their careers. That group is Adam Scott, Spieth, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and the current number one, Rose, who claimed the position earlier this month.

FANTASTIC FISHER SHOOTS 59

While Woods was en route to victory at the Tour Championship, Oliver Fisher made European Tour history this week, producing the tour's first-ever score of 59.

The Englishman shot an incredible second round at the Portugal Masters, carding 10 birdies and an eagle for a stunning 12-under total on the second day's play at Vilamoura.

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