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Sore knee still haunts Woods

11/4/2002

ATLANTA -- Tiger Woods has won eight major championships and
34 times on the PGA Tour -- all on a bum knee.

Woods winced after hitting his approach to the par-5 15th hole,
limping slightly on his left leg. He later shrugged it off, saying
it was an old knee injury he has had for years.

''It's been sore for quite a while and just acted up on that
shot,'' Woods said.

Woods said he had surgery on his left knee in 1994 when he was
at Stanford.

It didn't seem to bother him at the Masters and U.S. Open. He
won both of those majors by three shots this year.

''Actually, it hurt quite a bit,'' Woods said. ''You've just got
to play through it.''

And the award goes to ...
The ballots are in the mail, for PGA Tour player of
the year, but Tiger Woods officially wrapped up a few other honors
Sunday.

He earned more than $6.9 million this year to lead the money list and
win the Arnold Palmer Award for the fourth consecutive season, and
fifth time in the last six years. Tom Watson (1977-80) was the last
player to win four consecutive money titles.

He also had the lowest scoring average -- 68.56 -- for the fourth
consecutive year, earning him the Vardon Trophy (from the PGA of
America) and the Byron Nelson Award (from the PGA Tour).

Watson also won the Vardon Trophy four consecutive years.

Woods is favored to win the Jack Nicklaus Award as player of the
year. That's decided by a vote of the players and will be announced
later this month.

Considering he was said to be in a slump last year -- winning
only one major and $5.6 million -- perhaps he also will be a
candidate for comeback player of the year.

Big finish for Singh
Along with $900,000 for winning the Tour
Championship Presented by Coca-Cola, Vijay Singh picked up an additional $500,000 for
capturing the points-based Fall Finish.

The Fall Finish, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, awarded
points for top-10 finishes in the final 12 tournaments of the year,
dating to the Air Canada Championship in early September.

Along with winning at East Lake, Singh tied for third at Air
Canada, tied for sixth at the Canadian Open and finished third at
the American Express Championship in Ireland.

Tiger Woods was leading the race going into the Tour
Championship.

More of a good thing
Maybe the reason Vijay Singh always plays well at
East Lake is because of the food.

He has been dining at Tamarind Thai Cuisine since he first came
to Atlanta. Singh loves the place so much he asked the owners
to come to Augusta National two years ago to prepare the Champions
Dinner.

His caddie, Paul Tesori, stayed in a room behind the restaurant
this week.

Singh never missed a meal.

''I ate there every night,'' Singh said. ''He's waiting for me
in his restaurant right now.''

He just keeps going and going ...
The season is over, but not for Charles
Howell III.

He'll play in the Taiheiyo Masters on the Japanese tour, then
play in the Australian Open at Royal Victoria the week before
Thanksgiving.

It will be Howell's first trip to Japan.

''I bought my two little books for the translation words here
and there,'' he said. ''I can say 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' and 'I
don't like sushi.' It's not boding very well for that.''

Even if he's not playing, Howell isn't likely to take a break.

He tried that once this year, before the U.S. Open, and it
didn't go over very well. Swing coach David Leadbetter suggested a
three-day vacation in the Bahamas to clear his mind.

''That was the first day I'd ever taken more than one day off in
my life,'' Howell said. ''That felt odd. I was going into spasm
about that third day.''