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The Envelope, Please ...

Nov. 14, 2005
Nov. 14, 2005

Table of Contents
Nov. 14, 2005

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Catching Up With
DIVISIONS II AND III
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
Pro Football
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College Football
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Bonus
Inside
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The Envelope, Please ...

After 10 months and 48 tournaments, this season will be remembered for these deeds and words, which we honor here

NIELSEN PRIME-TIME PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Tiger Woods, for winning six tournaments, including his fourth Masters and his second British Open at St. Andrews.

This is an article from the Nov. 14, 2005 issue

HARRIET MIERS SUPREME CHANGE OF DIRECTION AWARD (A.K.A. SHOT OF THE YEAR): Woods's gravity-defying chip that slowly backed down the green at the par-3 16th hole at Augusta National during the final round of the Masters before toppling into the cup for an unlikely birdie.

SHOTLINK STAT OF THE YEAR AWARD: The 10 major titles won by Woods, which puts him past the halfway mark in his quest for golf's Holy Grail--Jack Nicklaus's record 18 majors--before his 30th birthday (on Dec. 30).

TODD MARINOVICH ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD: Sean O'Hair. Initially famous for his estrangement from his overbearing father, the 22-year-old relegated that story line by winning the John Deere Classic and $2.46 million, which put him 18th on the final money list. Best of all, he's one of the nicest guys on Tour.

SCOTT HOCH BRUTAL FINISH AWARD: John Daly, for missing a 21/2-footer to lose the American Express Championship playoff to Woods.

TEDY BRUSCHI COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD: Brandt Jobe, who missed much of 2003 and '04 after breaking the same bone in his left hand twice, then returned in '05 and achieved a career-best 27th-place finish on the money list.

COREY PAVIN OVERACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Fred Funk. The short-but-straight driver nonpareil survived wet and windy conditions at the devilish TPC at Sawgrass to win the Players Championship.

AARP SET FOR LIFE AWARD: Funk. At age 48 he earned a 10-year Tour exemption by winning the Players.

PARIS HILTON OVEREXPOSURE AWARD: Funk, for filling out the foursome with Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Annika Sorenstam at the Skins Game on Thanksgiving weekend.

KEN KELTNER AWARD: Cottonwood course at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, where (harkening back to the Indians third baseman who helped snap Joe DiMaggio's epic 1941 hitting streak) Woods's 142-tournament cut streak came to an end during the EDS Byron Nelson Classic.

MIKE TIRICO ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE YEAR AWARD: Four Seasons p.r. director Angela Enright. After Woods missed the cut at the Nelson, Enright revealed that the "biggest suite in the hotel is now available--at half price."

EBAY SOUVENIR OF THE YEAR AWARD: The golf shirt worn by Woods during his ill-fated round at Cottonwood, discarded by Tiger and later turned in by a Four Seasons maid.

THE "I WISH JACK NICKLAUS WOULD RETIRE EVERY YEAR" AWARD: Woods, whose victory at the British Open completed his feat of winning each major during the year of Nicklaus's farewell appearance in the event.

BILL GATES "GOOD JOHN DALY" MOMENT: Long John met with the two daughters of Tom Weaver, a fan killed by lightning when Daly won the 1991 PGA Championship, so they could thank him for the $30,000 donation he made to Weaver's family; the young women had used the funds for college.

BILL VEECK "BAD JOHN DALY" MOMENT: Not-long-enough John failed in 20 tries to blast a tee shot across Niagara Falls--an estimated 344 yards. Daly, at the Falls to promote a course he helped design, blamed the heavy mist.

MERLE HAGGARD QUOTE OF THE YEAR: Daly, on repeated rain delays at the Nissan Open: "My marriages don't last this long."

BILL CLINTON MULLIGAN AWARD: Billy Mayfair. The 38-year-old cashed in on a onetime exemption for ranking among the top 50 on the alltime money list by having six top 10 finishes, ending up 22nd on the money list and securing his card for 2006.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX LONG TIME COMING AWARD: Robert Gamez, who went 15 years between victories before breaking through at the Texas Open.

MACAULAY CULKIN EXPRESSION OF ASTONISHMENT AWARD: Phil Mickelson, whose mouth fell open and eyes went wide when he was told that his match with Angel Cabrera, which Phil thought was a Presidents Cup--clinching halve, would continue until there was a winner.

THE "NO, IT'S YOUR IQ" AWARD: Brenda Nardecchia. While caddying for fiancé Mark Calcavecchia in the Italian Open on the day they were to be married, Nardecchia wrote i do on his ball. Calc misread Nardecchia's romantic message and angrily asked, "Do you think I'm going to shoot 100 today?"

MATT LEINART FANTASTIC FINISH AWARD: (Tie) Padraig Harrington, for his 66-foot eagle putt on the final hole of the Barclays Classic that enabled him to win by a shot; and Lucas Glover, whose 35-foot bunker shot on the 72nd hole gave him a one-stroke victory at the Funai Classic.

BRAD LIDGE MOST SHOCKING SUNDAY MELTDOWN AWARD: Retief Goosen. The supposedly automatic Goose led the U.S. Open by three going into the final round, then blew up to an 81.

ARIZONA CARDINALS LEAST SHOCKING SUNDAY MELTDOWN AWARD: Jason Gore. The then unknown Nationwide tour promotee, playing with Goosen in the final pairing at the Open, shot an 84.

JUDE LAW TWO-TIMER AWARD: Mickelson, for following up his first career major, the 2004 Masters, with a win at the PGA Championship.

CLINT EASTWOOD "MAKE MY DAY" AWARD: Vijay Singh, for reportedly challenging Mickelson to a fight in the Augusta National locker room in the wake of Spikegate.

DELAY-OF-GAME AWARD: Ben Crane, who when asked about his notoriously slow play said, "I'm working on it, but it's going to take some time."

MICHAEL JORDAN BEST LAST SHOT AWARD: Nicklaus. The 65-year-old sank an 18-foot putt to birdie the 36th (and his final) hole of the British Open. "I knew that hole would move wherever I hit it," he said.

DOUG FORD MEMORIAL AWARD: Billy Casper, 74, for the 105 he shot on Thursday at the Masters. The total, which included a 14 on the par-3 16th, would've been the highest score ever at the tournament, but Casper chose not to post his card.

ROD SERLING "IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE" AWARD: Esteban Toledo. On the first approach shot to the 18th green at Doral at this year's Ford Championship, Toledo holed a six-iron. In the '04 Ford, Craig Parry had holed the last shot to the 18th green--also a six-iron--to win a playoff with Scott Verplank.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW AWARD: Rich Steinmetz. The club pro from Perkiomenville, Pa., playing in the PGA Championship--his first Tour event--left his car in the Baltusrol parking lot overnight on the Sunday before the event. He returned the next day to learn that his ride had been towed and found a Buick parked in its place sporting a sign that read RESERVED FOR TIGER WOODS.

Reaching the Limit?

After jumping dramatically in the first few years of the millennium, the average driving distance on Tour leveled off this season.

Year -- Yards

2000 -- 273.4

2004 -- 287.3

2005 -- 288.9

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Easy Come, Easy Go Moneywise, these are the biggest rises and steepest declines on the PGA Tour from last year to this.

 Largest Earnings IncreaseLargest Earnings DecreaseBiggest Jump on Money ListBiggest Slide on Money List
 Tiger WoodsErnie ElsBrandt JobeScott Hoch
2004$5,365,472$5,787,225178th60th
2005$10,628,024$1,627,18427th237th
Difference+$5,262,552-$4,160,041Up 151 placesDown 177 places
PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (WOODS)  HIGH ROLLER
Woods's otherworldly birdie chip on 16 at Augusta National propelled him to a fourth green jacket.
TWO PHOTOSJEFF ROBERSON/AP (O'HAIR); DAVID WALBERG (FUNK)FOUR PHOTOSPAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (MICKELSON); JOHN BIEVER (NICKLAUS, GOOSEN); BILL WIPPERT (DALY)