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Sportswoman of the Year

 December 18 cover
Photograph by Gerard Rancinan

For all the greatest athletes, for all their triumphs, only a few fashion a year so magical that it exceeds our comprehension of physical (and metaphysical) superiority. Rarer still is the champion who so overwhelms his sport that he rearranges it. Tiger Woods was already on his way to that achievement before the turn of the millennium, but his extraordinary accomplishments of this past year -- 10 victories, including three majors, and the career Grand Slam -- changed golf. Because of him the game is more luminous in the galaxy of sport, a star of a different shape and magnitude.

Text by Frank Deford
Issue date: December 18, 2000

Video box: Behind the scenes at the Sportsman photo shoot

Tiger Woods' achievements in 2000 have been simply mindboggling. He thrilled audiences worldwide by becoming the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in a year, but what truly set him apart was his sheer domination. His 15-stroke win at the U.S. Open was the largest margin of victory by any player in a major championship; his win at the PGA was the first back-to-back victory at that championship since 1936-37; and his 18-under 270 at the PGA earned him the scoring record in relation to par at every major championship. In addition to becoming the first player since Lee Trevino in 1971 to win the U.S., British and Canadian Opens in the same year, Woods also became the first to win nine tournaments in a season since Sam Snead won 11 in 1950. Tiger's year of historic firsts was not limited to the golf course, though. In 46 previous years of presenting Sportsman of the Year, Sports Illustrated has never honored anyone more than once. Until now.

Sound Bites
Tiger Woods has to admit he had a remarkable year (343 K)
Woods finds it hard to believe that he's the first to claim the award twice (335 K)
Woods doesn't begin the year worrying about what awards he may be able to win (133 K)
Woods on his remarkable summer of play (100 K)
Woods on his classic PGA duel with Bob May (155 K)
Winning at St. Andrews is special for Tiger (126 K)
Tiger says a steady putting game is essential to a U.S. Open victory (317 K)
  • Rick Reilly: The Greatest Show on Earth
  • Leigh Montville: Tiger, Tiger, Tiger
  • Jack McCallum: Tiger's dominance good for the game
  • Jaime Diaz: Tiger Woods, the Student
  • Alan Shipnuck: A legendary approach
  • Gary Van Sickle: More than a shot in the dark
  • John Garrity: Tiger And The Bear, Oh My!
  • Sports Illustrated, September 18, 2000: Finishing Kick
  • Sports Illustrated, July 31, 2000: Grand Stand
  • Sports Illustrated, June 26, 2000: Open and Shut
  • Sports Illustrated, April 3, 2000: Tunnel Vision

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