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Tiger Woods at the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
The 2011 At&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournament begins this week without its master. Tiger Woods, who has had many memorable performances at Pebble Beach, will be absent from the Pro-Am tournament yet again.
Ever since winning the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2000, Woods hasn't played in the tournament. His one and only victory was in 2000 and it was one of the most memorable of all time, despite not being a major.
Matt Gogel was in second place going into the final round of the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He began the day leaping into first place after Mark Brooks fell behind. Woods was still several shots back when he started the rain-delayed fourth round, tied for 8th place.
Gogel was seven shots ahead of Woods at one point, but then the front nine ended. What happened on the back nine was nothing short of miraculous. Woods sank an eagle with a pitching wedge on 15, and then got close with another wedge shot on 16 to earn a birdie. Meanwhile, Pebble Beach was swallowing Gogel's ball as he couldn't keep pace.
The victory wasn't assured until a Woods birdie on 18, giving him the win by two strokes at 15 under par. His final round was a tournament-best 64 including five under on the back nine of his final round. Gogel's final round 71 was still pretty good, just not enough to hold off a charging Woods.
Scope of victory
Woods was already a dominating presence on the PGA Tour at this point in his career. The 2000 Pebble Beach Pro-Am was his 17th Tour victory at age 24. Later that year, Woods would tame Pebble Beach again at the U.S. Open where he also finished 15 under in one of the most dominating U.S. Open tournaments ever. The best modern golfer on the PGA Tour was in the midst of his domination when he won the 2000 Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the way to earning more than $90 million for his career.
Gogel's career would take the opposite direction after tying for second with Vijay Singh in 2000. Gogel's lone victory would ironically come in 2002 at the the Pebble Beach Pro-Am since becoming a professional in 1996. He won that tournament by three strokes at 14 under par. Despite his lack of success, Gogel may have found a niche on the Nationwide Tour where he has six victories to his credit.
The 2011 Pro-Am features pro golfers such as Phil Mickelson, Stuart Appleby, Davis Love III, Rocco Mediate and Jim Furyk among others. Celebrities playing this year include Bill Murray, Drew Brees, Kevin Costner, Ray Romano and Chris O'Donell.
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