Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prize Brings Masters Spot To Golf's Emerging Tiger

LAS VEGAS -- Tiger Woods and Davis Love III were playing a nine-hole practice round in Georgia a few weeks ago when the subject first came up.


Barely a month into his pro career, Woods was already trying to figure out a way to play in the Ryder Cup.


"He said to me, 'Do you think if I won two or three times before the Ryder Cup team is picked that I would make it?'" Love said. "I told him if somebody could not pick you after you won two or three times, it would be amazing."


Not since a 22-year-old named Jack Nicklaus beat Arnold Palmer in a playoff to win the 1962 U.S. Open has a golfer burst on the scene with the game and the confidence Woods has shown in only five tournaments as a pro.


Woods' victory in the Las Vegas Invitational on Sunday served notice that he has something far more important than the length he uses to overpower the golf course: the winning fire Nicklaus used to win 70 tournaments.


What was most impressive was the way Woods won, in front of thousands screaming "Tiger, Tiger," and "Bring it home, Mr. Woods."


The win not only earned Woods $297,000, but it also gave him a two-year tour exemption and a spot in next year's Masters.


Woods, who was carrying his own bag and living in a dorm only a few months ago, seemed more impressed by the size of the winner's check than he did by his accomplishment.


"I like that figure," he said, pointing to the $297,000 first prize.


"What you've seen here is just the tip of the iceberg," said Butch Harmon, Woods' coach. "This is the first time in his life he's been allowed only to play golf. He's had to go to school and try and make his grades and not practice in good conditions and had to do all the things that a youngster does."


Now, with his concentration totally on his game, Woods can post what sounds like an ominous warning to his fellow pros.


"I go to every tournament trying to win," he said. "Otherwise you shouldn't even show up."








Now, with his concentration totally on his game, Woods can post what sounds like an ominous warning to his fellow pros.


"I go to every tournament trying to win," he said. "Otherwise you shouldn't even show up."