Thursday, April 10, 2008

Storytelling is as much a part of Masters week as $23 baseball caps and pimento cheese sandwiches. Wednesday night's Golf Writers Association of America awards honored the best golf writing of the year, but the real fun at the ceremony was listening to players like Tiger Woods, Gary Player and Greg Norman tell stories. So we decided they ought to be honored too. Without further delay here are the winners of the first annual Award-Dinner Anecdotes of Masters Week Awards. 3rd Place: Tiger WoodsAfter accepting his award for Male Player of the Year (which he's won a staggering nine out of 11 times since 1997), Woods ribbed Gary Player, who was also at the dinner, about his practice round on Sunday. Evidently, Woods was playing behind Player's group. Everything was fine until 17, when Woods saw Player play the 440-yard par 4 from the members' tee. "I wasn't sure how playing from there was going to help him in the tournament," Woods said, laughing. 2nd Place: Jay HaasThe Senior Player of the Year talked about playing Torrey Pines with Tiger about five years ago. The 221-yard, par-3 11th was playing into the ocean wind, and Haas said he hit a 5-wood off the toe that just barely made it to the green, landing about 40 feet from the pin.
"I was happy to make it on the green," Haas said. "Then Tiger takes a 4-iron, chokes up on it, makes a beautiful cut swing and lands it 18 inches from the hole. So when we were walking off the tee box, I said to him, 'Don't be looking in my bag to see what I hit.' "
Tiger didn't miss a beat. He replied, "I didn't know a wood could go that short." 1st Place: Louise SuggsThe women's golf legend who co-founded the LPGA and is still going strong at 84 talked about playing a tournament against men on an executive-length course in 1961. Playing from the same tees, Louise won the tournament. Afterward, Sam Snead wouldn't stop giving her grief about it.
"Finally I got fed up," Louise said. "I said, 'Sam, I don't know why you're bitching. You didn't even come in second. He didn't talk to me for a year and we were members of the same club. You should have heard him burn the rubber on his tires when he left that day.' "

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