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ELEVEN FOR '11

Dec. 12, 2011
Dec. 12, 2011

Table of Contents
Dec. 12, 2011

LEADING OFF
GOLF PLUS
  • How big was Tiger's victory at the Chevron? Can Luke Donald hang on to No. 1? Who's most likely to become the top American? How do the major venues rate, and who will win the four championships?

  • Great majors, a new No. 1, LPGA dominance, an old school fight for the money title and the rediscovery of a vintage track too tough to die made 2011 a terrific year in golf

  • The game will long remember Europe's leading light, a pioneering woman and a television innovator

Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR / SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR, 1981
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR, 1976
  • A couple of recent divorces have dusted up the Girl Next Door, but as always she will never sit back and accept defeat

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR, 1982
  • A man can gather plenty of insight on the road from boy wonder to senior statesman for the sport he loves

PRO FOOTBALL
  • The Patriots' defense, built from spare parts, castoffs and converted receivers, ranks dead last in the NFL, and yet New England is once again cruising to the playoffs. The real test is yet to come

SPECIAL REPORT
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
BASEBALL
  • In 136 major league seasons, there's never been a more dizzyingly dramatic day than Sept. 28, 2011. The Red Sox and the Braves may disagree, but for everyone else it's a date that will live in ecstasy

PRO HOCKEY
  • With the club slumping and captain Alex Ovechkin seemingly checked out, the Capitals dumped their coach. Now one of the NHL's superstars isn't just struggling to rediscover his game, but he's also trying to shed an ugly label

  • The NHL's coaching carousel began to go 'round in earnest last week, with three jobs turning over in a four-day stretch. Besides the departure of Bruce Boudreau and the arrival of Dale Hunter in Washington, D.C., here's the lowdown on what went wrong and what to expect from here on in

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
WALTER IOOSS JR.
Departments

ELEVEN FOR '11

Great majors, a new No. 1, LPGA dominance, an old school fight for the money title and the rediscovery of a vintage track too tough to die made 2011 a terrific year in golf

$10 MIL BILL

This is an article from the Dec. 12, 2011 issue

Bill Haas played the Shot of the Year by getting up and down from a water hazard en route to winning the season-ending Tour Championship, then asked the Question of the Year—"Who won the FedEx Cup?"—before accepting the trophy and the $10 million bonus. You did, Bill.

FALSE ALARM

Tiger's back! We all thought so after Woods made an electrifying eagle at the 8th hole on Masters Sunday to tie for the lead. No he's not! Woods shockingly missed two short putts on the final nine and tied for fourth.

AUGUSTA CHRONICLE

Who would have predicted that soft-spoken South African Charl Schwartzel would be the one to birdie the final four holes—something no winner had ever done—to take the green jacket at a wildly entertaining Masters?

RORYING BACK

Rory McIlroy (above) rebounded brilliantly from a Masters meltdown—his Sunday 80 included a cabin-clanging tee shot—to win the U.S. Open in a runaway at Congressional. A new era begins? Maybe. A star is born? Definitely.

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY

Five years removed from the death of his wife, Heather, from breast cancer and an emotional appearance in the first Ryder Cup in Ireland, teary 43-year-old Darren Clarke surprised the world by winning his first major, the British Open.

BELLY UP

The longer-shafted flat stick was transformed from red flag yip-reducer to the game's must-try new club when Keegan Bradley became the first player to win a major, the PGA, with his putter jammed into his navel.

COOL HAND

Who's No. 1? Luke Donald answered the question by knocking off then No. 1 Martin Kaymer in the Accenture Match Play final in February and Kaymer's successor, Lee Westwood, at the Euro tour's PGA Championship in May.

SPAIN MAN

After watching his World Ranking drop from second to outside the top 75 during an almost three-year victory drought, Sergio García won back-to-back starts in October in his native country.

QUEEN YANI

No tour does dominance better than the LPGA. Yani Tseng of Taiwan followed in the footsteps of recently retired world-beaters Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa by winning seven times, including a pair of majors.

MONEY MATTERS

When Webb Simpson moved to the top of the PGA Tour money list in October, Donald needed to finish first or second in the final event of the Fall Series to reclaim the lead. Remarkably, he won it with a 64 in the last round.

HURRICANE MEL

The U.S. withstood a late rally by the Internationals to retain the Presidents Cup, but the real winner was Royal Melbourne. A daunting setup and a wicked wind combined to make RM the butt-kickingest course in the world.

PHOTOFRED VUICH