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Pretty Great Action An early birth? A tardy Aussie? Tiger's funk and Phil's devastating dunk? Here's our report from an improbable PGA Championship

Aug. 25, 2003
Aug. 25, 2003

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Aug. 25, 2003

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Pretty Great Action An early birth? A tardy Aussie? Tiger's funk and Phil's devastating dunk? Here's our report from an improbable PGA Championship

WINNERS

This is an article from the Aug. 25, 2003 issue

SHAUN MICHEEL The most shocking major championship winner since
...

SARA BEEM The wife of the 2002 PGA champ was due to deliver their
first baby last week, but she had Michael Waide Beem on July 25,
allowing papa Rich to play with no worries.

ACCURACY It's what wins majors, and a place in history.

CHARLES HOWELL With a tie for 10th, the talented 24-year-old
continues his learning curve. Watch out for Howell in '04.

MARK ROE Famously DQ'd at the British Open, he seemed like a lock
for dunce of the year. But now he has to share the award, thanks
to ...

MIKE WEIR A slow start on Sunday ended his chance of victory, but
the Masters champ's tie for seventh was the latest confirmation
that his brand of ball control, and deadly short game, is perfect
for the majors.

CHAD CAMPBELL The plucky Texan (and GOLF PLUS cover boy) shot one
of the rounds of the year on Saturday and then never backed down
during a taut final round. He'll be a force if he improves his
putting.

2004 MERCEDES CHAMPIONSHIPS Such a funny year in golf--week in
and week out it has been dominated by the stars, while the majors
have been full of surprises. The whole cast will gather in Maui.

DOWN-HOME FAMILY The highlights of the 2003 majors' telecasts
were Curtis's breathless dad on the phone to England and the
hilarious cooing of Micheel's mom back in Memphis. Baby Furyk was
cute, too.

LOSERS

...BEN CURTIS Hey, at least he got to enjoy three weeks as the
best story in golf.

RICH BEEM Perhaps he should have stayed in El Paso to help change
diapers. The defending champ shot a first-round 82, lowlighting a
fallow year since his breakthrough.

LENGTH It's what wins regular Tour events, and bloated checks.

SERGIO GARCIA The onetime boy wonder shot 72-77 to miss the cut.
Will Garcia, 23, ever live up to his vast potential?

... AARON BADDELEY The callow Aussie was 40 seconds late to his
Friday tee time. The two-shot penalty led to a 77, ruining his
opening 69.

PHIL MICKELSON Leading by three on Friday, he tried a risky play
out of the rough on the 5th hole and predictably splashed his
shot in the hazard. That's our Phil, who has now won only once in
the last 18 months.

TIGER WOODS Remember a few years ago, when we were lamenting the
lack of competition for Woods? Now every week a different
unlikely character comes along to steal his thunder.

2003 GRAND SLAM OF GOLF This Silly Season event on Kauai is
reserved for the major winners; Weir, Jim Furyk, Curtis and
Micheel are all nice guys, but has there ever been a less
charismatic Grand Slam quartet?

OVEREXPOSED GURUS Going back to Beem, that's five majors in a row
won by players who are basically self-taught and free of the
sycophantic hangers-on who blight Tour driving ranges.

COLOR PHOTO: TONY DEJAK/AP (HOWELL) Yes! Howell scored his first major top 10.COLOR PHOTO: STEVEN SENNE/AP (GARCiA) What's so funny? Garcia blew up, again.COLOR PHOTO: AP (GORBACHEV)B/W PHOTO: CORBIS (FRANKLIN)COLOR PHOTO: GEORGE HALL/CORBIS (JET)COLOR PHOTO: IVAN SEKRETAREV/AP (FRASER)COLOR PHOTO: MEL LEVINE (BALL)

TRUST ME

It was mere coincidence that all the majors were won by
first-timers. Jim Furyk and Mike Weir were already big-time
players, and the British and PGA setups were so extreme that luck
was a big factor.

THE NEW MATH The inaugural Russian Open is played outside
Moscow

(FALL OF COMMUNISM x CAPITALISM) + FAR-FLUNG EURO TOUR + WINNER
MARCUS FRASER = [THE INAUGURAL RUSSIAN OPEN IS PLAYED OUTSIDE
MOSCOW]