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Special Considerations Tiger claimed the champion's trophy, but he wasn't the only winner at the Match Play. Here are some others who deserved special prizes

March 08, 2004
March 08, 2004

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March 8, 2004

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Special Considerations Tiger claimed the champion's trophy, but he wasn't the only winner at the Match Play. Here are some others who deserved special prizes

BEST SELF-IMMOLATION Phil Mickelson. Mickelson and Davis Love III
came to the 18th hole all square in the quarterfinals when Love
attempted to give the match away by hitting a wild drive into the
trees. A two-putt par was the best he could do from there.
Mickelson, reacting as if his ability to self-implode had been
challenged, then badly hooked his 254-yard three-wood shot, which
bounced off a cart path and wound up 30 yards right of the green
behind a large pine. As an exclamation point, Lefty attempted to
go over the tree with his trademark flop shot, and his ball wound
up playing pinball in the pine. Final score: Old Phil 1, New Phil
0.

This is an article from the March 8, 2004 issue

BEST TURN OF THE CHEEK Nick Price. After Colin Montgomerie had
holed a 25-foot putt on 16 to ignite a turnaround that would
erase a 2-down deficit and lead to a 20-hole win, Price said to
him, "Well done, great putt, good comeback." Monty admitted that
he wouldn't have been as gracious had their positions been
reversed. "I wanted not to like him for four hours," Monty said,
"but he's such a nice guy, you can't."

GEORGE W. BUSH DIPLOMACY AWARD To Jerry Kelly, who played high
school hockey growing up in Wisconsin. "When I get 2 down in a
match," he says, "I let the other guy walk in front of me and I
stare at him the whole way. I want to chase him down. If it was
legal to check him into the trees, I'd be the first one doing
it."

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, INANIMATE Fred Funk's bag. After Funk, who
has been eliminated in the first round in all five of his
appearances in the Match Play, missed a birdie putt on the 18th
hole to lose one down to Stephen Leaney, he fired his ball at his
bag--scoring a direct hit--as he stomped off the green. The bag
took the blow without complaint.

POWER OF NEGATIVE THINKING AWARD To John Rollins, whose
bogey-bogey finish against Woods in the first round saved the day
for ABC. One up on the 17th hole, Rollins hit a weak approach to
30 feet, then turned to his caddie and said, "He's due any minute
to hit one of his towering shots that sits right by the flag."
Voila! Woods dropped a 171-yard eight-iron close enough for a
kick-in birdie to even the match. "He must have heard me,"
Rollins would say later. Then at the par-5 18th Rollins made a
pair of stupefying gaffes: He missed the green with a sand wedge
on his third shot, then failed to put his bunker shot on the
putting surface.

DUMBEST RULES VIOLATION Bob Estes, on the 9th hole of his
second-round match against Padraig Harrington. With lift, clean
and place in effect, Estes picked up his ball on the fringe of
the green, cleaned it and placed it within a club-length of its
original location. "Then I decided that wasn't the best spot,"
Estes said, "so I picked up the ball. As soon as I did, I
realized I had messed up. The USGA changed that rule this year.
When you put down your ball now, you can't move it again." Estes
called a penalty on himself and lost the hole, which put him 3
down. "The rules change is stupid," Estes says. And forgetting
the rules change is smart?

BEST-CHOREOGRAPHED TEMPER TANTRUM Darren Clarke, during his
21-hole semifinal loss to Love. When Clarke badly pulled his
approach to the 13th green, he flung his iron to the ground and
kicked it on the bounce. --G.V.S.

FIVE COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT BECK