Woods is the popular pick to win the Grand Slam again
Tiger Woods has won the PGA Grand Slam six times in his seven visits to Poipu Bay, so it comes as no surprise that the world No. 1 is the overwhelming favorite to repeat yet again in an informal poll of national golf media.
POIPU BAY, Hawaii -- The Garden Island of Kauai is a garden spot for Tiger Woods, who has made the Poipu Bay Golf Course
his personal playground for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Including last year's seven-shot victory, Woods is six-for-seven at Poipu Bay, playing the course's four par 5s in 37-under-par and earning $2.65 million. So, it comes as no surprise that the world's No. 1-ranked player -- and this year's PGA Player of the Year -- is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as PGA Grand Slam of Golf Champion in an informal poll of the nation's golf media.
Woods garnered eight of the 14 votes, equally a testament to his sizzling play over the second half of the PGA Tour season as his dominance of the Poipu Bay Golf Course. In his 10 rounds on the course, Woods has a stroke average of 66.5, with eight eagles, 76 birdies and 142 pars. He has surpassed par only 18 times in 180 holes.
Jim Furyk, the 2003 PGA Grand Slam of Golf champion, earned four votes, while U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy was selected twice. The fourth player in the hardest event in golf to qualify for, Mike Weir, was shut out.
The explanations for selecting Woods ran from the pragmatic to the logical to the whimsical to the defensive.
"Has he ever lost there?" inquired Oakland Tribune golf writer and columnist Art Spander.
"Does he need an explanation? How about the best golfer on the planet, having one of his best seasons, playing an event he has won before against guys he beats all the time?" said USA Today's Jerry Potter.
"He's in a zone where no one else on the planet can compete with him," said Jill Painter of The Los Angeles Daily News.
"It would be folly to bet against Tiger, even in an off-season event. Once he tees it up, his instincts don't know it doesn't count," said Garry Smits of The Florida Times-Union.
"He looks like he'll keep winning pretty much everything again until he grows bored and changes his swing yet again, perhaps as a left-hander next time," said Randy Mell of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
"This is golf, his name is Tiger and I'm tired of looking like an idiot every time I pick a player not named Tiger," said Ron Kroichick of The San Francisco Chronicle.
Furyk's four votes came largely on the basis of his home in Maui, giving him a "home-state/home-course" advantage, according to Gary Van Sickle of Sports Illustrated.
"I like Jim Furyk for two reasons: He has momentum coming off the best season of his career, plus he has homefield advantage with a house in Maui," said Bill Nichols of The Dallas Morning News.
"Tiger's better, but I suppose Furyk cares more about winning this than Mr. Woods," said The Toronto Star's Jim Byers.
While Furyk and Weir finished 1-2 in the 2003 PGA Grand Slam of Golf, this is Ogilvy's first visit to the season-ending showcase of major championship winners. That played into The Winnipeg Free Press' Tim Campbell's selection.
"It's his first time, right, so he'll clearly be trying the hardest," Campbell said.
Campbell's fellow Canadian, Ian Hutchinson of The Toronto Sun, took that logic one step further.
"I'll go with Geoff Ogilvy because a longshot is always fun and in a field that includes Tiger, Furyk and Weir,
Ogilvy probably won't get the attention he deserves and his talents make him worthy of attention. I think he could be a "sneak-in" winner."
Poipu Bay Golf Course and the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa are hosting the PGA Grand Slam of Golf for the 13th time. The 36-hole event features a $1.25 million purse.
TNT's Ernie Johnson will return to the network's golf coverage for the event, serving as host and play-by-play announcer throughout the tournament. Johnson will be joined by analysts Bobby Clampett and Billy Kratzert and reporter Jim Huber to provide complete coverage including analysis, highlights, updates and interviews.
As in the past, TNT will air sound bytes from all four golfers who will wear microphones during their tournament play. During play, PGA.com's exclusive broadband viewer, powered by Pipeline technology, will consist of three distinct video streams. The first of which, Greenside Live, will provide a total of four hours of live online access to the tournament on Tuesday (5:00-7:00 p.m. ET) and Wednesday (4:00-6:00 p.m. ET).
The second and third streams, Inside the Ropes and Exclusive Analysis and Tips, respectfully, will deliver fans 24/7 access to press conferences, aerial course views and player profiles, as well as stroke analysis and tips from golf professionals.
Tickets to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf are available to purchase at 1-800-PGA-GOLF (742-4653) or online at www.PGA.com.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, The PGA of America was founded in 1916, and is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.
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