CNNSI.com 2001 - The Year in Sports 2001 - The Year in Sports


 

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Call it, in the spirit of goofy labels, the Cablina Slam. A different name is in order because, as golf purists will tell you, Tiger Woods' consecutive victories at the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters, occurring, as they did, over two calendar years, does not constitute the vaunted Grand Slam they've all been waiting for. But what was it Juliet said about the sweet smell of a rose? Woods' two-stroke win at the 2001 Masters made him the first golfer to simultaneously hold all four major titles, a feat that Tiger's spectacular 2000 season had somehow made seem inevitable despite its lack of historical precedent. It wasn't that he blew away the field. He led Phil Mickelson, who finished third, by a single stroke after 54 holes, and runner-up David Duval missed a pair of makeable birdie putts on 16 and 18 on the final day to give Woods some breathing room. What made victory seem so certain is Woods' own history. His ascent to the top of the golf pyramid has seemed so scripted that the only real surprise is when the otherwise routine ups and downs of sports dare drizzle on Tiger's victory parade. As Woods himself said after earning his second green jacket and sixth career major, "To have it happen four straight times, some of the golf gods are looking down on me the right way." That Woods fell into something of a slump -- just one top-10 finish all summer -- might be chalked up to a post-Masters hangover; he's still golf's runaway player of the year. The purists can keep waiting. The rest of us will take what we can get.

--Jamal Greene

  • Sports Illustrated, April 16, 2001: Four-gone Conclusion
  • CNNSI.com: Totally Tiger
  • CNNSI.com: Tiger Woods Scrapbook
  • Video Box: After the Masters, Tiger reflects on his accomplishments
  • Photographs by Robert Beck, Fred Vuich, David Cannon/Allsport

     


     
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