In the rearview mirror, 1999 looks like the best year ever in
golf. It was so good, David Duval shot a 59 and rang up four
victories before Augusta, yet eight months later is thought of
as the best footnote never to have won a major.
Who could top the drama at the majors? Greg Norman, like the
B-movie zombie who wouldn't stay dead, returned from shoulder
surgery to not quite win another Masters. (Give this man a
career-achievement green jacket, please.) At the U.S. Open at
Pinehurst, Phil Mickelson was foiled while bidding to win his
first major but succeeded in making his deadline--barely--to
witness the birth of his first child. Everyone was driven crazy
by nasty Carnoustie, although Jean Van de Velde waited until the
72nd hole to lose his head. Finally, at the PGA at Medinah, we
saw the future, and isn't it grand?
What a roller-coaster ride 1999 was, from the high brought on by
a transcendent Ryder Cup to the low that followed the tragic
death of U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart 29 days later. Tiger
Woods had 10 victories, including two of the three inaugural
World tour events and that PGA, and ended the year with a
four-tournament winning streak. Juli Inkster, the mother of two,
won a couple of majors to complete a career Grand Slam and enter
the LPGA Hall of Fame, but she was edged out as player of the
year by Karrie Webb, a six-time winner. Colin Montgomerie locked
up a seventh straight money title in Europe, and an unknown
named Bruce Fleisher finally had us saying, Hale who?
Were you paying attention during the greatest year in golf
history? Find out by taking our five-part Absolutely, Positively
Final Quiz of the Millennium.
Who Am I?
A. I opened with a 71 in the British Open, but shot an 86 on
Friday to become the only first-round leader in the history of
the event to miss the cut.
B. I skipped a major championship last January saying that I
needed a break, but wasn't so tired that I couldn't use that
time to play in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
C. I've been in and out of rehab a couple of times, and shell
out $35,000 a month in alimony, child support and mortgage
payments, yet I walked away from a $3 million endorsement deal
so I could drink and gamble.
D. I was an assistant pro at Hilltop Golf Club in Alexandria,
Va., until the Dallas Cowboys talked me out of retirement last
E. I was the only player with a chance to win the Grand Slam when
I punched out a wall in my hotel room at the U.S. Open, breaking
a bone in my hand.
F. No one greeted my wife and me when we arrived at the World
Golf Hall of Fame outside Jacksonville, where I was supposed to
speak on behalf of inductee Lloyd Mangrum. Then I was allowed to
say a only few words, so I flew back to Texas without giving my
G. I had to wait 10 minutes to putt out on the 16th hole at the
Women's British Open because my caddie couldn't get the flagstick
out of the cup. To make sure that didn't happen again, I had him
apply lip gloss to the bottom of the pin.
ANSWERS : A. Rodney Pampling; B. Pete Sampras; C. John Daly; D.
Alvin Harper; E. Jose Maria Olazabal; F. Byron Nelson; G. Karrie
Who Said It?
A. "I'm a lot older now than I was when I was 30, which is kind
of hard to believe."
B. "The sad part [about my six-putt] is I tried on four of them."
C. "I'm a recovering lawyer. One of the 12 steps is learning how
to talk to the media."
D. "My swing has been like my singing, a mixture of karaoke and
rap. It's called crap."
E. "I don't know if I can [put into words what it means to me to
win this tournament]. I dropped out of college."
F. "He has one of the alltime worst swings I've seen, and I've
told him that face to chest."
G. "I don't get into Augusta for this one, do I?"
H. "The golf course is the only place I can go dressed like a
pimp and fit in perfectly. Anywhere else, lime green pants and
alligator shoes, I get a cop on my ass."
ANSWERS: A. Fred Couples, 40; B. John Daly; C. LPGA commissioner
Ty Votaw; D. Nick Faldo; E. Tiger Woods, after winning Jack
Nicklaus's Memorial; F. Corey Pavin on Charles Barkley; G. Gary
McCord, after his first Senior tour victory; H. Actor Samuel L.
Match the complaint with the complainer.
A. "That's for white people. It sucks as far as I'm concerned."
B. "I hit 14 browns in regulation."
C. "It was like trying to stop a six-iron shot on a pitcher's
D. "I don't think this tournament deserves to be remembered."
E. "I'm so sick of it I could just barf."
F. "I heard it has been changed for the better. I wouldn't want
to have seen it before."
1. Sergio Garcia on the British Open at Carnoustie.
2. Tom Lehman on the Ryder Cup pay-for-play controversy.
3. Bruce Lietzke on the TPC at Sawgrass during the Players
4. David Duval on Pinehurst No. 2, the site of the U.S. Open.
5. Stuart Appleby on the 17th green at Valderrama, the site of a
World tour event.
6. Earl Woods on golf in Scotland.
ANSWERS: A-6; B-3; C-4; D-1; E-2; F-5.
Take a Guess
A. In which country were the most LPGA tournaments televised
2. Great Britain
3. South Korea
B. Who had the longest drive ever measured (427 yards, at the
Honda Classic) on the PGA Tour?
1. Tiger Woods
2. Jesper Parnevik
3. Fred Funk
4. Chris Smith
5. John Daly
C. Who was the first player to finish among the top 10 (he came
in fourth) in the Tour's putting stats using a long putter?
1. Vijay Singh
2. Scott McCarron
3. Bernhard Langer
4. Rocco Mediate
5. Tom Kite
ANSWERS: A-3; B-4; C-2
True or False?
A. Two days after Payne Stewart's fatal plane crash, Ian
Woosnam's private jet depressurized and had to make an emergency
B. The Jack Nicklaus Visa card comes with a dozen Maxfli balls
and the cardholder earns Nicklaus Rewards points.
C. Last January, Johnny Miller correctly predicted that Texas
freshman David Gossett would win the U.S. Amateur.
D. When a 1,000-pound boulder blocked Tiger Woods's shot during
the Phoenix Open, he had his fans roll it out of his line.
E. A golf course is the fifth most likely place to suffer a heart
attack, but one of the least likely places to survive one--about
5% of stricken golfers live.
F. Senior tour player Orville Moody said having a heart attack
cured his yips.
G. Although he has never won the Masters, Greg Norman has played
in the final pairing on Sunday a record four times.
ANSWERS: A. True; B. True; C. True; D. True; E. True; F. True;
COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JEFF WONG
COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATIONS BY JEFF WONG This assistant club pro caught on with the Cowboys.