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Mickelson’s Third Consecutive Title? or Woods’ Comeback?

Mickelson’s Third Consecutive Title? or Woods’ Comeback?

Posted February. 07, 2002 09:36,   


The U.S. PGA Tour Buick Invitational was just another tournament without many golf fans when it first opened 50 years ago. However, it is now one of the 4 major tours with an enormous number of TV viewers. First, it has been so interesting that 12 times out of 49 tournaments until last year, winners were decided in the playoffs. Also, `Golf Genius` Tiger Woods (U.S.A.), who signed the sponsor contract with `Buick`, contributed to the tour’s success, as he participated every year since his professional debut.

The half a century-old golf tour will open its 50th tournament (total prizes worth 3.6 million dollars) on the 8th (Korean time) at Torrey Pines GC in California, U.S.A.

The tournament’s biggest interest is whether Phil Mickelson(U.S.A.) will gain his third consecutive title.

Also, another point of interest is that Woods, thirsty for victory, will try his best to make a comeback to the top after 3 years of failure.

As it was with last week’s AT&T National Pro-Am, this tournament will host its 1st and 2nd rounds on two difference courses, the South Course (7,033 yards) and the North Course (6,874 yards) of Torrey Pines GC.

For 21 times out of 34 successive PGA Tour formal tournaments, winners won their titles with 1 point ahead, and most of them had the decisive moments at the last hole (including extension 9th hole).

The tournament committee kept such fever in consideration, and selected the `battlefield` at Torrey Pines GC in order to commemorate the 50th Buick Invitational.

Meanwhile, Choi Kyung-Joo (Superior) is to participate in the tournament, determined to put an end to the cutoff eliminations 2 weeks in a row. Choi started the season quite lightly with a tie in 7th position for the Sony Open, but was eliminated in the preliminaries of the Phoenix Open and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He plans to bring about a change this tournament. Choi will tee-off from the North Course 10th hole with Bradley Hughes (Australia) and Carl Paulson (U.S.A.) at 1:39 a.m. on the 8th (Korean time).

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com