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PGA's Buzz Cut Isn't Likely to Faze Woods

July 22, 2002|Thomas Bonk

GULLANE, Scotland — There won't be any Grand Slam buzz, but the PGA Championship is going to go on anyway.

Next month's PGA at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., missed its chance to become one of the most memorable events in golf when Tiger Woods was blown away Saturday at Muirfield and lost his chance to win the British Open.

Woods closed with a 65 Sunday and finished at even-par 284 for the tournament--16 shots better than his third-round 81 that effectively removed any Grand Slam suspense from the PGA Championship.

The fourth and final major of the year, the PGA's status has long suffered in comparison to its older, more established peers--the Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open. All that would have changed if Woods had won at Muirfield and set up his chance to win the Grand Slam at Hazeltine.

Woods says his view of the PGA hasn't changed now that his shot at a calendar-year Slam is out of the question.

"It is a major championship," he said. "[I will] try and get ready the best I possibly can."

Tickets to the PGA did not sell out until after Woods won the U.S. Open last month. While it is officially a sellout, not all of the 55 corporate hospitality tents have been sold. Tickets for the general public are gone, all 40,000 a day, from the $250 to $350 weekly tickets to the exclusive Wanamaker Club.

David Toms, who beat Phil Mickelson by one shot at Atlanta Athletic Club, is defending champion. Woods won in 1999 and 2000.

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