FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Tiger Woods won the Masters. Now what?
It’s a question that Woods has answered four previous times, back when the golf calendar had the U.S. Open following the springtime pilgrimage to Augusta National. Now it’s the PGA Championship that is second in line, and it’s held on a course where Woods has won before (more on that below).
On the eve of the opening round, here’s a look back at how Woods has followed each of his previous green jacket performances in his very next major start:
1997 U.S. Open: T-19. After crushing the field en route to his first Masters title, Woods’ encore was quickly undone by an opening-round 74 at Congressional. He followed with a 67 that left him four shots off the lead heading into the weekend, but rounds of 73-72 put him at 6 over for the week and 10 shots behind Ernie Els, who edged Colin Montgomerie for his second U.S. Open title.
2001 U.S. Open: T-12. As incomprehensible as it is to type, Woods went to Southern Hills with a chance to win his fifth major in a row after wrapping up the Tiger Slam two months prior. But like in 1997, he was playing catch-up after opening with a 74 that featured just one birdie. Weekend rounds of 69-69 made the result more respectable, but he still finished seven shots outside of a playoff that saw Retief Goosen beat Mark Brooks.
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2002 U.S. Open: Win. That was the first time a major was held at Bethpage State Park, as Woods snagged his second major of the year and seventh in the last 11 played. Woods grabbed the opening-round lead with a 67, led by three heading into the weekend and four entering the final round. Despite closing with a 2-over 72, he managed to finish the week as the only player under par and three shots ahead of Phil Mickelson. His bid for the single-season Grand Slam would be undone by epic weather conditions at Muirfield the following month.
2005 U.S. Open: Second. Weeks after edging Chris DiMarco in a memorable playoff at Augusta National, Woods wasn’t able to keep pace with a relative unknown in Michael Campbell. Woods was three shots off the pace heading into the weekend and all seemed lost once Goosen distanced himself from the field in Round 3, but when the South African collapsed in the final round, it became a wide-open race. Despite bogeys on his first two holes, Woods got within two shots of the lead with a birdie on No. 15. But bogeys on the next two holes coincided with a timely Campbell birdie as the Kiwi captured his lone major title by two shots.