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Mercedes Championships Next Opportunity for Woods to Continue Winning Streak
November 19, 1999
KAPALUA, Maui, Hawaii - Tiger Woods can set his sights on two of the greatest names in golf, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, when he returns to Kapalua resort for the 2000 Mercedes Championships. Standing in his way is defending champion David Duval, who blitzed the field on Kapalua's Plantation Course in 1999 with a record 26-under-par 266 total.
Woods, winner of eight PGA TOUR titles in 1999, will be going for his fifth consecutive TOUR victory against an elite, champions-only field at the $2.9 million Mercedes Championships, scheduled Jan. 6-9 at Kapalua's famed Plantation Course.
The 23-year-old from Orlando, Fla., finished the year with four straight triumphs at the NEC Invitational, National Car Rental Golf Classic, The TOUR Championship and the American Express Championship. Only three other players, Ben Hogan in 1953, Jackie Burke in '52 and Byron Nelson in '45-46, have won as many times in succession. Two more triumphs by Woods and he will tie Hogan for the second-longest winning streak in pro golf; Bantam Ben won six times in 1948.
Nelson holds the all-time PGA Tour record with an incredible 11-tournament winning streak in 1945.
Woods' eight victories, which included his second major championship, the PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club, was the most since Johnny Miller won eight times in 1974.
With a record $6.62 million, Woods easily claimed Player of the Year honors and also captured the Vardon Trophy with a 68.43 stroke average, another all-time record.
Greg Norman set the previous best scoring mark of 68.81 in 1994.
A national television audience will have the opportunity to watch Woods attempt to extend his run against one of the best fields in golf on the unique 7,263-yard, par-73 Plantation Course. ESPN will provide live prime time coverage (on the East Coast) beginning Thursday, Jan. 6 from 7-10 p.m. EST. Air times for succeeding days (all EST):
(Times subject to change)
Thirty-one players, including Duval, qualified for the 2000 Mercedes Championships. Duval made his own mark in 1999 with four victories, all before the Masters. He also won at The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, THE PLAYERS Championship and BellSouth Classic. He finished second to Woods on the money list and in the Vardon Trophy standings.
Among other players who qualified to compete in the Mercedes Championships are Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal, British Open champion Paul Lawrie and former major championship winners Hal Sutton, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Steve Elkington and Jeff Sluman.
In addition to Woods and Duval, multiple winners from 1999 include Notah Begay, David Toms, Carlos Franco, and Duffy Waldorf. Rounding out the field: Jeff Maggert, Jim Furyk, Jesper Parnevik, Stuart Appleby, Brad Faxon, Loren Roberts, Tim Herron, Mike Weir, Glen Day, Brent Geiberger, Gabriel Hjertstedt, Rocco Mediate, Ted Tryba, J.L. Lewis, Tom Pernice, Jr., Olin Browne and Rich Beem.
The winner will receive $522,000 and a Mercedes-Benz SL500 Sport.
Tickets for the Mercedes Championships can be purchased by calling C & J Telecommunications at 888-310-GOLF toll free, 24 hours, or on-line at kapaluamaui.com or pgatour.com. On Maui, tickets can be purchased at the Kapalua resort at all golf pro shops, the Honolua Store, The Logo Shop and The Body & Bath Shopm, as well as all Activity World outlets and at the Ka'ahamanu Shopping Center Information Booth.
A season ticket purchased prior to Dec. 31 is $40. After the new year it is $60. Practice round and daily tickets also are available.
The 2000 Mercedes Championships benefit a number of charities including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui, Inc., Friends of the Children's Advocacy Center of Maui, Girl Scout Council of Hawaii, Hospice Maui, J. Walter Cameron Center, Lahainaluna High School Athletic Department, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., Maui Junior Golf, and the Art School at Kapalua.
Requests for media credentials are now being accepted for the 2000 Mercedes Championships. For an application form, contact Linn Nishikawa, Media Coordinator, (800) KAPALUA, (808) 669-4480 fax.
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