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Sports Review of the Year 2000
Rugby League

By BBC Five Live's
Tony Adamson

The season's most significant moment occurred, appropriately, at St Andrews, the home of golf. It was Friday 21 July, day two of the Open championship.

Jack Nicklaus bade a moving farewell to the galleries, having missed the cut on his last appearance at the Open. The Golden Bear exited left as, not more than a sand-wedge away on the first tee, a young tiger, Tiger Woods, began his second round.

It was as if the 60-year-old king had finally abdicated his crown to the 24-year-old prince whose name was soon to adorn the old Claret Jug for the first time.

Woods came of age this year. A living legend and a multi-millionaire in only his fourth year as a professional, he's already acclaimed as the first player ever to successfully unravel the complex mysteries of golf.

As a Sunday Times headline put it, Inhuman Perfection is His Only Handicap.

In winning nine times on the PGA Tour - the most for 50 years - including three of the four Major championships, Woods produced a new set of records so bewildering even the most acute insomnia sufferer would be aroused.

Holder of the record lowest score in all four Majors, his 15-stroke victory at the US Open was the largest winning margin at a Major, beating by two the previous record set by Old Tom Morris in the Open in 1862.

Woods' 19-under-par total at St Andrews was the lowest for any Major, and in so doing he avoided all 120 of St Andrews notorious bunkers. By season's end he'd banked prize money to the value of some $10m!

The man, of course, is human. An indifferent opening round surrendered the Masters title to Vijay Singh, and Darren Clarke proved the better match-player in the final of the Anderson Consulting championship, Clarke beating Woods 4&2 having taken the redoubtable scalps of Hal Sutton and David Duval in previous rounds.

Clarke's stablemate Lee Westwood, also left Woods in his wake in winning the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe, the first of six victories on the European tour on his way to winning the Volvo Order of Merit and ending Colin Montgomerie's remarkable seven-year reign as Europe's number one.

No season would be complete without its unlikely heroes and 2000 produced Sweden's Pierre Fulke, who led all the way to win the Volvo Masters.

The unassuming Welshman, Philip Price took his game to a new level in finishing tied runner-up to Tiger Woods in the World Championship NEC Invitational in Ohio and there was unconfined joy on the bonny, bonny, soggy, soggy banks of Loch Lomond when Europe's Solheim Cup team triumphed over the United States for the first time in eight years.

Hard luck story of the year involved Padraig Harrington, who was about to embark on the last day of the Benson and Hedges International Open with a five-stroke lead only for an official to point out his failure to sign his first round scorecard and disqualify him.

There was further controversy with the publication of Mark James book Into the Bear Pit in which the author lashed out at the behaviour of America's winning team during the 1999 Ryder Cup and incurred greater indignation in revealing how he "binned" a good-luck telegram to Europe's team from Nick Faldo.

James was subsequently forced to resign as Sam Torrance's vice captain at next year's Ryder Cup at the Belfry, since when everyone in golf has united in wishing James, for 24 years a loyal servant to the European Tour, a full recovery in his battle against cancer.

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Singh wins US Masters
Woods wins US Open
Woods wins The Open
Woods wins USPGA Championship
Nicklaus bids farewell at The Open
Clarke triumphs at Anderson Consulting championship
Europe win Solheim Cup
Westwood ends Montgomerie's reign
Westwood wins World Matchplay
James quits Ryder Cup post