Vivid Tiger memories of last Valhalla PGA Championship

Mon Aug 4, 2014 3:56pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - It has been 14 years since Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship when it was last held at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky but the memories of his epic battle with Bob May over the closing stretch remain sharply etched in his mind.

Woods and American journeyman May matched one another shot for shot in a thrilling duel on the back nine before Woods clinched his fifth major title, and third in a row, in a three-hole playoff.

"At the time, I was going on all cylinders," Woods, whose participation in the PGA Championship starting on Thursday at Valhalla is in doubt due to a back injury, recalled of his superb form in 2000.

He triumphed nine times on the PGA Tour that season, including wins at the U.S. Open by a staggering 15 strokes and at the British Open by eight.

"That year, I was really playing well, and it was just a matter of staying out in front. I had the lead going into Sunday (at Valhalla), I had a one-shot lead and I didn't play the front nine as well as I liked.

"I had a couple of mistakes, he played well and then we both got hot on the back nine. It's not too often you're tied for the lead of a major championship and you go out and shoot 31 on the back nine and lose. Unfortunately for Bob that's what happened."

Woods trailed May by one shot through most of a tense back nine on a sultry Sunday afternoon at Valhalla until he birdied the 17th after sticking his approach shot within four feet.

Both players birdied the 18th hole with dramatic, downhill putts to finish the regulation 72 holes with 270 totals.   Continued...

Jul 31, 2014; Akron, OH, USA; Tiger Woods drives on the sixth hole during the first round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club - South Course. Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports