Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Playoff Win Makes Woods the Fastest to Reach $1 Million

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Playoff Win Makes Woods the Fastest to Reach $1 Million

Article excerpt

Tiger Woods squinted into the gray sky, trying to follow the flight of his shot toward the green on the first playoff hole of the Mercedes Championships on Sunday.

Tom Lehman was already in the water, and all Woods needed to do was get on the green and two-putt to win the event, which was shortened by rain to only 54 holes.

He did better than that - much better - nearly holing his 186-yard, 6-iron shot to win for the third time in just nine tournaments as a pro. He moved past the $1 million mark in winnings in 19 fewer events than the previous record. Lehman and Woods each led the field by 5 strokes after Saturday's round. At times it seems like the only thing the 21-year-old Woods can't control is the weather. He never saw his winning shot on this chilly, overcast day. "I lost it in the air because of the clouds and the rain," Woods said. "A raindrop hit me right in the eye when I looked up." The surprisingly large gallery, huddled under umbrellas in the cold rain, told Woods where the ball ended up by erupting in a roar. Many shook their heads as though asking, "What else can this kid do?" The sensational shot helped ease the disappointment of the washout of the final round, which would have been a matchup between Lehman - the player of the year - and Woods - the rookie of the year. Both had finished 54 holes at 14 under par, 5 strokes ahead of Guy Boros, who received third-place money, and 6 better than Paul Goydos and Fred Couples. But a persistent rain made the course in Carlsbad, Calif., unplayable, and tournament officials decided to make it a 54-hole event. Woods and Lehman played No. 7 because it was the only hole that was playable. They would have continued playing No. 7 over and over until a winner was determined. The $216,000 first prize gave Woods $1,006,594 in career winnings - Ernie Els had the former record in 28 events. And only Gene Sarazen and Horton Smith won three events at a younger age than Woods. …

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