It has been a summer of sizzling golf for Tiger Woods, starting with the 15-shot victory at the U.S. Open, progressing to his career Grand Slam-clinching win at the British Open and on to his playoff win at the PGA Championship _ giving him three major championships in a season.
But when it comes to remarkable shots, there likely was none better than his 218-yard 6-iron out of a fairway bunker, over water, to the par-5 18th hole Sunday at Glen Abbey. The second shot to the hole set up a clinching birdie and a one-shot victory over Grant Waite, who stood mesmerized in the fairway as Woods pulled off another unthinkable feat.
Waite trailed by one stroke heading to the finishing hole and hit his drive in the fairway, from where he played to the middle of the green. Woods, from the fairway bunker, would have been excused had he laid up in front of the water, or played safely to the middle, as Waite did.
From where he was in the bunker, a shot hit "fat" out of the sand would have ended up in the water. So would one right of the pin. But Woods took it right over the flag, stopping it 18 feet away.
"The remarkable thing is that Tiger did it with so much on the line," said Ashley Chinner, one of three Toronto area professionals asked by the Toronto Sun to try the same shot the next day. "I think everyone knows he can pull that shot off. But under that situation, it was incredible."
Chinner hit the green three times with a 6-iron, but the closest he got was 30 feet, on the fringe. Chris Neale, golf director at Glen Abbey, tried seven times and got one of his 4-iron shots on the green. Tom Jackson hit the green three times with a 5-iron, the closest 40 feet away.
Woods, who has nine wins this year, has matched his age with 24 victories. That ties him for 20th on the all-time list with Tommy Armour, Johnny Miller and Macdonald Smith. Ahead are Henry Picard with 26 victories and Lee Trevino with 27.
The rest of the tour gets a break from Woods, who is taking five weeks off before the Presidents Cup. He heads into his vacation having played 35 consecutive rounds at par or better. He is a collective 222 under par for the season.
SOLHEIM SNUB: Before winning the Betsy King Classic, Michele Redman was 14th in the U.S. Solheim Cup standings and not getting much consideration as a captain's selection for the event, Oct. 6-8 in Scotland.
Potential team members were fitted for Solheim Cup uniforms last week, but Redman said only two or three pairs of shorts and one pair of pants were brought for her. But when she won the tournament, she rose to No. 8 in the standings and clinched her spot on the team.
"It's a little ironic," she said. "They didn't even have a blazer for me."
TAMPA BAY CLASSIC: As expected, the PGA Tour Policy Board has approved Buick's involvement with the tournament in 2001 and 2002. Buick will be a presenting sponsor of the September event in those two years opposite the American Express Invitational, a World Golf Championship event. Justin Leonard is among a recent group of players to commit to the Oct. 19-22 event at the Westin Innisbrook Resort. Others came from Tampa native Woody Austin, Jeff Maggert, David Toms, Fred Funk and Ted Tryba. For ticket information, call (727) 942-5566.
AROUND GOLF: Masters champion Vijay Singh and Colin Montgomerie will join Sergio Garcia and Fred Couples at the Skins Game, Nov. 25-26. Corey Pavin became just the sixth player in PGA Tour history to need just 18 putts in a round, his second-round 65 at the Canadian Open.
_ Information from other news organizations was used in this report.