Win 2: His Buick Ride
At the '99 Buick, Woods made the cut by only two, then, after a Saturday 62, held off Billy Ray Brown with a 15-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th for a final-round 65.
BILLY RAY BROWN: "[Before Torrey] I'd actually first played with him in '93, at the Nelson. I was defending champion, and Tiger had won the U.S. Junior and was playing in the Nelson pro-am. The first hole at the Nelson is a par-4. No one hits driver. He comes to me and goes, 'Mind if I come back here and play with you?,' instead of with the other amateurs. I said, 'Sure.' He reaches in his little bag, pulls out driver and just rips this thing down the right side, right in front of the green. Now, I'm the defending champion. It's supposed to be my day, and this kid [Woods was 17] has forced me to do something I didn't want to do: hit driver. I missed way, way right.
"Fast-forward to '99. Tiger and I separated from the field, and it became like match play. Really fun. We laughed all day. Tiger will stare you down like Ray Floyd, and when I made birdie at 16 I stared at him, and he stared at me, and we just cracked up. He loves that stuff. He was in the cabbage on 17 and I thought I had him. But he hits this miraculous shot, and a clump of grass comes out you could sod half a football field with it and he gets up and down. We go to 18 dead tied. I rip a good drive. Then Tiger hits, and his drive sounds like a cannon exploding. He hits it 90 yards past me! He has so much extra in the tank. He was close to the green, which forced me to play a hook. I hit it so fat I hit the big ball before the little ball. I made par, and his eagle putt went in like a rat diving into a hole, as his putts always seem to do. Incredible."