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On This Date in Sports August 20, 2000

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

In a battle of David versus Goliath, Tiger Woods beats Bob May in a three-hole playoff to win the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. The two golfers finished at -18, with Tigers Woods winning the playoff by one stroke. For Tiger it his third straight major championship, marking the first time since Ben Hogan in 1953 that golfer won three majors in the same calendar year.

After winning the 1997 Masters in his first full year as a professional, Tiger Woods became the face of the PGA Tour. Adding a second major title in the 1999 PGA Championship, he became the youngest golfer to complete the career Grand Slam, winning the US Open at Pebble Beach and Open Championship at Royal St. Andrew’s in 2000. With the number one ranking in the sport, Tiger Woods came into Louisville, looking to hold on to the Wannamaker Trophy and duplicate Ben Hogan’s feat of winning three major championships in the same year.

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Bob May a 31-year-old who attended Oklahoma State, was looking to make his name on the PGA Tour. Joining the tour in 1994, May had never won a tournament and his run at the PGA Championship had a chance to put him on the map. His only career win had come in 1999 when he won on the Victor Chandler British Masters, on the European Tour.

As the tournament began fans gathered around Jack Nicklaus who was making his final appearance at PGA Championship at course he designed at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville. Nicklaus missed the cut, shooting a 4 over par over the first two days. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods was in command early, shooting a six-under-par 66, and a five-under-par 67 to sit a -11 after two rounds. Scott Dunlap kept pace with Tiger and was just one stroke back at -10. On Saturday, Bob May made his charge, after a par 72 on Thursday, he shot two straight rounds of 66 and was just one stroke back of Tiger Woods, who had a modest 70 in third round, and sat at -13, with Dunlap remaining one stroke back in a tie with May at -12.

Paired together for the final round, Bob May appeared to not be intimidated by Tiger Woods, as he took the lead with a birdie on the second hole, taking advantage of a bogey by the top-ranked player. May extended his lead to two strokes, thanks to a birdie on the par-five fourth hole. After both golfers bogeyed the seventh, Tiger Woods seemed to find his game, with two straight birdies, as the two made the turn to the back nine tied at -13. Bob May continued to put pressure on Tiger, starting the back-nine with the straight birdies to regain a one-stroke lead. After both golfers recorded birdies on the 14th, a par-three hole it was clear that the winner would come down to the final pairing. The 15th hole would be on of missed opportunities for Bob May, as he missed a short birdie putt, while Tiger Woods stayed alive, with a big par save with a chip after missing the green. After both golfers recorded a par on the 16th, Tiger Woods recorded a birdie to move into a tie for the lead at -17. Both golfers would get a birdie on the 18th hole and finished at -18, with Tiger Woods, shooting a five-under-par 67, and Bob May shooting a six-under 66 for the third straight day.

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Tied a -18, Tiger Woods and Bob May went into a three-hole playoff to decide the 2000 PGA Championship. The playoff began on the 16th hole, with Tiger Woods recording a birdie which he seemingly walked in on the first hole, while Bob May settled for a par. That stroke would end up deciding the tournament as they each recorded pars over the final two holes, with Tiger Woods winning the showdown by one stroke.

Tiger Woods would go on to win a fourth straight major championship, creating the Tiger Slam with a win in the 2001 Masters. Bob May never again was a factor in a major and never won a PGA tour event as he had trouble maintaining his tour status and eventually ended up on the Nationwide Tour.