Remembering Tiger Woods' 2007 PGA Championship Win At Southern Hills
How the American claimed his 13th Major and fourth PGA Championship title
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When Tiger Woods parred the final hole to claim the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills, it gave him his 13th Major win in just over a decade – and one of the most eventful.
Woods’ tournament began inauspiciously. The defending champion struggled to find a rhythm throughout his first round, with four birdies overshadowed by five bogeys, meaning he finished the day six shots behind leader Graeme Storm on one-over-par.
Improvement was needed, and it duly came in a mesmerising second round where he recorded one of the lowest scores in his career. In the baking heat (which was a feature throughout the tournament), Woods tied the record for the lowest single-round score at a Major championship. That achievement saw Woods join an exclusive list of just 21 players, but he came close to claiming the record outright. After a round including eight birdies, Woods faced a 15-foot putt on the 18th green for his ninth of the day and a place in the record books. With the crowd willing the ball in, it appeared to be dong just that, but an agonising lip-out meant Woods had to settle for 63.
Nevertheless, Woods was happy enough with his day's work. He said: “It got me back in the tournament. It wasn’t like I was out of the tournament, but I just felt that winning score this year was going to probably be around 4-, 5-under par and to go ahead and get it in one lump sum felt pretty good.”
Indeed, that 63, which also equalled the course record, had set him up beautifully for the third round. By that point, Woods had climbed to the top of the leaderboard on six-under-par, two shots ahead of his closest contender, Scott Verplank. There were fewer fireworks from Woods on day three, but a birdie on the fourth kept him on track. Then, with a back nine featuring another birdie and one bogey, Woods’ one-under-par 69 was enough to stretch his lead to three, with Canadian Stephen Ames next on the leaderboard.
The omens were looking good going into the final round, as Woods had enjoyed at least a share of the 54-hole lead in his previous 12 Major wins. His final round was not without drama, though. Woods bogeyed the second before hitting his stride with birdies on the fourth, seventh and eighth. However, Woody Austin soon made moves of his own and birdied holes 11 through 13 to move into contention. When Woods three-putted the 14th for a bogey, it reduced his lead to just one.
Still, Austin’s glimpse of a first Major win was short-lived as Woods bounced back with a birdie on the next hole to restore a two-shot lead that he wouldn’t relinquish. The pair parred the remaining holes to hand Woods back-to-back PGA Championship victories and the Wanamaker Trophy for the fourth time.
Reflecting on the moment he regained momentum to claim the title, Woods said: “I just did serious yelling at myself going up to the 15th tee, just to get back into what I do. And positioned the golf ball, put it where I need to put it and just bear down, get it down somehow. And I made that putt on there on 15, it felt great. Felt like I had the momentum again, and I was back in control of the tournament.”
Woods won the US Open the following year, but then had to wait 11 more years to claim his 15th Major with the 2019 Masters. For that four days at Southern Hills in 2007, though, the American was still more-or-less at the peak of his powers, and that magical 63 on the Friday will surely forever rank as one of his greatest rounds of all.
Things You Didn't Know About Tiger Woods
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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