Golf’s Best and Worst Moments of the Decade

1 of 14 Robert Beck/SI
Best Player: Tiger Woods The only player whose numbers remotely rival Tiger's in the last decade (56 wins, 12 majors) is Annika Sorenstam (54 wins, 8 majors), and she compiled hers in nine years because she retired a year ago.
2 of 14 Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Most ingenious attempt to start The Wave: Woody Austin Paired with Phil Mickelson in a Presidents Cup foursomes match in 2007, Austin tried to play a shot out of a greenside lake at Royal Montreal's 14th hole. He failed to get the ball out of the water, lost his balance and disappeared face-first into the lake. Mickelson dubbed him Aquaman, and the next day Austin donned a snorkel and mask as he approached that green.
3 of 14 Fred Vuich/SI
Most underrated player: Kenny Perry If he had won the 2009 Masters like he could have (or maybe should have), Perry wouldn't be far from a Hall of Fame career. Because he works the ball only one direction and has a unique swing, he doesn't get enough credit for having more wins (14) than David Toms, Jim Furyk or Justin Leonard.
4 of 14 Mike Ehrmann/SI
Most overrated player: Michelle Wie Wie showed signs of progress on the LPGA tour this year, with her first win and stellar play in the Solheim Cup, but has any golfer gotten $10 million to turn pro and done less? She's still only 20, however, and seems poised to become one of the LPGA's top players.
5 of 14 John Biever/SI
Biggest upset: Y.E. Yang beats Tiger Woods at the 2009 PGA ChampionshipYang, a 37-year-old Korean and your 2009 Honda Classic champion, played in the PGA Championship's final-round pairing with Tiger Woods, who had a two-shot edge and had never lost a major championship that he led after 54 holes. Until now. Yang stared down Woods, hit the hybrid shot of his life to the 72nd green, won the PGA by three strokes and acquired lifetime superstar status as the first Asian-born golfer to win a major.
6 of 14 Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Best comeback: Steve StrickerThe Comeback Player of the Year Award used to be reserved for players who overcame physical adversity, but Stricker took the prize when he revived his game in 2006 and rose from 337th in the world rankings to 63rd. The next year, he rose to No. 4 in the world and won it again.
7 of 14 Warren Little/Getty Images
Best gender barrier-breaking event: Lorena Ochoa winning the 2007 Women's British Open at St. Andrews Ochoa, the top player in women's golf, won the 2007 Women's British Open, the first women's event held at the Old Course, which is the home of the male-only R&A. It was Ochoa's first major championship, making her the first player since Tony Lema in 1964 to win that first career major at the Old Course.
8 of 14 Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Loudest tear-inducing ovation: Darren Clarke at the 2006 Ryder CupWhen Ireland's Darren Clarke walked to the first tee for Friday morning's 2006 Ryder Cup matches at the K Club in his home country, just weeks after his wife passed away from cancer, the roar was like nothing ever heard before in golf — not the Masters, not the 16th hole in Phoenix, not the New Yorkers at the Bethpage People's Open.
9 of 14 Craig Jones/Getty Images
Best Cinderella finish: Craig Perks at the 2002 Players ChampionshipThe obscure Aussie bogeyed seven of the first 15 holes in the final round of the 2002 Players, then chipped in for eagle at the 16th, holed an unlikely birdie putt at the 17th and chipped in again for a miraculous par at the 18th to pull out the victory.
10 of 14 Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Biggest one-hit wonder: Hilary LunkeLunke beat Angela Stanford and Kelly Robbins in a playoff at the 2003 U.S. Women's Open. It was not only Lunke's only win and her only top-35 finish in a women's major, it was her only top-10 finish in any LPGA event, ever.
11 of 14 Florida Highway Patrol
Biggest shocker: No contest here. It was Tiger Woods falling from grace in stunning, messy, nasty tabloid-like fashion. It all began with a National Enquirer story that accused Tiger of flying a New York city hostess to Australia for a tryst. Then there was the suspicious early morning one-car accident just outside Tiger's Orlando home. Then we were then plunged into a weeks-long salacious scandal.
12 of 14 Neil Leifer/SI
Most amazing shot: Tiger's chip-in at the 16th in the '05 Masters, when his ball rolled past the cup, changed directions and rolled back the other way, barely toppling in at the end.
13 of 14 Robert Beck/SI
Best major championship: The 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines The 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines may prove to be Tiger's signature championship, and that's saying a lot. First, he limped through 72 holes on a bad leg. Then he turned Saturday into one big highlight show with a pair of dramatic eagles, and Sunday sank a clutch putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff.
14 of 14 Fred Vuich/SI
Biggest feud: Hootie Johnson and Augusta National versus Martha Burk In a battle about the club's lack of women members, Burk got all the headlines and Nightline interviews for months but lost the fight when Johnson made the Masters telecast sponsor-free, eliminating the weak spots where Burk hoped to apply pressure. When Burk could muster fewer than a hundred demonstrators in Augusta for the '03 tournament after months of tough talk, it was a virtual white flag.