Today in Sports History: January 12

In 1997, 21-year-old golfer Tiger Woods won the third victory of his career at the Mercedes Championship. He won three out of nine starts on the PGA Tour. Due to the weather conditions, the course at The La Costa was shortened to 54 holes. As the course was underwater and unplayable, the PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem and tournament directors decided to end the tournament with a ‘sudden death’ round between the two golfers who were tied in the first place. Tiger Woods and Tom Lehman who were both tied at -14 under. Lehman was the 1996 Player of the Year and Woods was the Rookie of the Year. It was the perfect match for the two players to battle it out in the playoff ‘sudden death’ round. Lehman swung his first attempt while in the heart of rainfall straight into the water, giving Woods assurance to take the lead. Tiger needed three to win. Woods swung and aimed right at the hole, focusing only eight inches away. All Lehman could do was watch Tiger finish the hole and accomplish a huge win for his career.

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