Shot of the Year On the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship at Hazeltine, Y.E. Yang hit a brilliant 210-yard approach with a 21-degree hybrid over a tree and to within 10 feet of the hole, leading to a birdie that catapulted him to a three-shot win over Woods.
Best Early-Season Winner We Should Have Taken More Seriously Yang, who won for the first time on Tour at the Honda Classic in March.
Groundhog Day Putt of the Year Stop me if you've heard this before: Woods, this time for his 15-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational (for the sixth time) by a shot.
Tom Terrific Tournament of the Year There's only one event that we are still talking about—the British Open, during which 59-year-old Tom Watson was poised to do the impossible. Not only was he going to blow away the record as the oldest major champion, but he also was going to tie Harry Vardon for most Open wins (six). Watson looked like a sure thing until his approach on the 72nd hole rolled over the green into an awkward lie. Watson putted his ball 10 feet past the hole and put a poor stroke on the par putt that would've given him the historic win. He ran out of gas in the anticlimactic playoff and lost to Stewart Cink, but Watson's performance was golf's inspirational moment of 2009.
Sob Story of the Year See above.
Upset of the Year Check out this scenario: Woods has a seven-footer for birdie on the 72nd hole at the Barclays. Heath Slocum has a 20-footer for par on the same hole. One of them makes his putt to win the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The other misses and ties for second. Tiger makes, Slocum misses, right? Wrong. Slocum's clutch putt vaulted him from 124th (out of 125 starters) to third in FedEx Cup points, and he eventually collected $2.5 million in the playoffs.
Brief Encounter Award Henrik Stenson let it all hang out when he stripped to his shorts to play out of a water hazard during the CA Championship because he didn't want to soil his shirt and slacks. C'mon, man. Why risk playing the rest of the day in wet undies?
Best Needle in a Supporting Role A day after the CA Championship, at the Tavistock Cup in Orlando, which pits the Tour pros from Isleworth Country Club against those who are members at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Woods (Isleworth) presented Stenson (Lake Nona) with a pair of autographed Nike briefs on the 1st tee.
Madoff Mad-As-Hell Award Disgraced financier Allen Stanford, whose empire crumbled under a federal investigation and indictment for fraud. The Stanford name was removed from the St. Jude Championship, which Stanford had agreed to sponsor for $50 million over seven years.
Losing-Your-Shorts Quote of the Year Stenson, who had a sponsorship deal as well as personal investments with Stanford: "I'm trying to focus on playing golf in my underwear and letting other people focus on my finances."