Tiger to Set Sights on More History at Pebble Beach
April 15, 2019 Liberty Corner, N.J. By Scott Lipsky, USGA

The world watched on Sunday as Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters title and 15th major championship. His first victory in a major since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, the one-stroke triumph over two-time defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele adds extra intrigue to a 2019 that is already filled with Tiger Woods-related storylines.

The PGA Championship will be played in May on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, in Farmingdale, N.Y., where in 2002, Woods followed up his third Masters title with his second U.S. Open victory. In June, it’s on to Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, where he won his first U.S. Open in 2000 by a record 15 strokes.

Here are some other milestones to look out for now that Woods is back in the business of winning majors:

Making His Mark With Longevity: Woods set the record for the longest span between victories at the Masters on Sunday, with his last victory coming in 2005. That broke Gary Player’s record of 13 years (1961, 1974). A win at Pebble Beach would mark 11 years between U.S. Open victories, which would tie the championship record held by Julius Boros (1952-63) and Hale Irwin (1979-90). A victory would also eclipse the mark of 18 years between first and last U.S. Open wins, currently held by Jack Nicklaus (1962-80).

Nothing but a Number: At 43 years old, Woods became the second-oldest Masters champion on Sunday, behind Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won in 1986. A win at Pebble Beach would make him the third-oldest U.S. Open champion (43 years, 5 months), behind Hale Irwin, who was 45 when he won at Medinah Country Club in 1990, and Raymond Floyd, who was 43 years, 9 months old when he won at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in 1986. Julius Boros (1963) and Ted Ray (1920) also won the U.S. Open at 43.

Expect Strong Play at Pebble: Woods’ historic victory in 2000 suggests that he will be a factor in June, not to mention his tie for fourth place in 2010 behind Graeme McDowell. History is also on his side in another way: Every reigning Masters champion has enjoyed solid play in the ensuing U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Nicklaus parlayed his victory at Augusta National in 1972 into a three-stroke U.S. Open victory two months later. Craig Stadler was in contention in 1982 before a final-round 76 landed him in a tie for 22nd. Fred Couples finished tied for 17th in 1992. A Sunday 68 pushed Vijay Singh to a tie for eighth in 2000 (albeit 19 strokes behind Woods). Three closing bogeys dropped Phil Mickelson into a tie for fourth and cost him a chance at victory in 2010, after Lefty won his third Masters.

Scott Lipsky is the senior manager of content for the USGA. Email him at slipsky@usga.org.