Timeline of golf (2000–present)
Tiger Woods recorded arguably the most dominant season in history by any player. He won 11 of the 25 events he entered worldwide, including three major championships, breaking all-time scoring records at each. His season-long scoring average was 68.11, breaking an all-time record most thought would never be beaten, set by Byron Nelson in 1945 (68.33). It was calculated that his lead in the (24-month) world rankings at the end of 2000 was so great that he could take 2001 off altogether, and still be world number one at the end of that year.
- Major championship results:
- June - U.S. Open - Tiger Woods broke almost every record associated with the U.S. Open. His score of 12 under par was the best in relation to par ever recorded at the US Open, and his victory margin of 15 strokes was the largest ever in any major. His score of 272 also equalled the 72-hole stroke record for the event.
- July - The Open Championship - Tiger Woods scored 19 under par, the best in relation to par ever recorded at The Open, and at any men's major championship. His victory means he becomes only the sixth player ever to win the U.S. and British Opens in the same year, following Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson. Ernie Els finishes a distant second - his third runner-up finish in a major of the season, although Els has taken 23 more shots than Woods at the two Opens.
- PGA Tour leading money winner for the year: Tiger Woods - $9,188,321
- Senior PGA Tour leading money winner: Larry Nelson - $2,708,005
- U.S. Women's Open: Karrie Webb
- LPGA Championship: Juli Inkster
- Karrie Webb: leading money winner on the LPGA tour, earning $1,876,853.
Tiger Woods completes what becomes known as the "Tiger Slam", holding off David Duval and Phil Mickelson to win the Masters Championship in April to become the first golfer in history to hold, concurrently, all four professional major championships. For good measure, Woods had won the game's fifth most important event, the Tournament Players' Championship as well, in March.
By the end of the year, however, Woods would have relinquished three of his titles, on each occasion to players winning their first major title. At the U.S. Open, South African Retief Goosen finally emerged triumphant from a playoff with Mark Brooks, after three-putting from 12 feet on the 72nd hole the previous day knowing that he had two putts for victory. Playing partner Stewart Cink also missed an 18-inch putt of his own at the last hole that, as events turned out, would have allowed him to join the playoff.
The Open Championship is won by David Duval, whose third round of 65 turns the final day into something of a victory progression. Unknown Swedish player Niclas Fasth finishes second, playing his way into Europe's Ryder Cup side ahead of Ian Woosnam, who incurs a two-shot penalty after his caddie realises he is carrying 15 clubs. Then in August, the PGA Championship goes to David Toms as Phil Mickelson again finished runner-up in a major championship. Toms' 72-hole total of 265 is the best ever recorded in a major championship (though not the best in relation to par, even at the PGA Championship).
Following the terrible events of 9/11, the Ryder Cup is postponed for twelve months, and it is agreed that the event would continue to be played in even years from that point forward. The terrorist attacks force several leading American players to revise plans to compete in the World Matchplay Championship in England in October. 43-year-old former champion Ian Woosnam, who had suffered such an unusual fate at the Open, is brought in as a replacement, and beats Goosen, Colin Montgomerie and Pádraig Harrington to win the event for a third time.
- PGA Tour leading money winner for the year: Tiger Woods - $5,687,777
- Senior PGA Tour leading money winner: Allen Doyle - $2,553,582
- Ryder Cup postponed until 2002
- Kraft Nabisco Championship - Annika Sörenstam
- U.S. Women's Open - Karrie Webb
- LPGA Championship - Karrie Webb
- Women's British Open - Se Ri Pak
- Annika Sörenstam: leading money winner on the LPGA tour, earning $2,105,868
Tiger Woods enjoys another supremely dominant season. He wins both The Masters and the U.S. Open by three shots (from Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson, respectively), becoming only the fifth player in history to win both in the same season. His opportunity for a single-season Grand Slam, however, is literally blown away on Saturday at The Open Championship, as the worst of the Muirfield weather closes in and Woods hits 81. Colin Montgomerie, who had shot 64 the previous day, shoots 84 in similar conditions. Ernie Els plays brilliantly given the conditions to record a 72, and wins after a 4-man playoff, the first in major championship history, involving Steve Elkington, Stuart Appleby and Frenchman Thomas Levet.
Woods then surprisingly misses out at the PGA Championship, when unheralded Rich Beem does enough to hold on to a one-shot lead over Tiger over the closing holes, after Justin Leonard loses his third-round lead.
- Tiger Woods is the PGA Tour's leading money winner for the year with earnings of $6,912,625 in 18 events.
- Hale Irwin is the leading money winner on the Senior PGA Tour with earnings of $3,028,304 in 27 events.
- At The Belfry golf course near Sutton Coldfield, England, the European team defeats the United States team 15.5-12.5 to win the Ryder Cup.
- Kraft Nabisco Championship - Annika Sörenstam
- U.S. Women's Open - Juli Inkster
- LPGA Championship - Se Ri Pak
- Women's British Open - Karrie Webb
- Annika Sörenstam: leading money winner on the LPGA tour, earning $2,863,904
- Major Championship results:
- April 10–13 - The Masters - Mike Weir becomes the first Canadian to win a major, and the first left-handed golfer to win The Masters. He defeats Len Mattiace on the first playoff hole.
- June 12–15 - U.S. Open - Jim Furyk wins his first major by 3 shots at Olympia Fields, in what he makes a comfortable victory. Furyk equals the U.S. Open record of 272, although this represents eight under par (not twelve under, as it was when Tiger Woods posted the same score in 2000).
- July 17–20- The Open Championship - Ben Curtis, an unknown 26-year-old who had only qualified for the event by virtue of a top-ten finish at the previous month's Western Open, shocks the world, finishing a single shot ahead of Thomas Bjørn and Vijay Singh at Royal St George's. His victory comes after Bjorn twice failed to escape from a bunker next to the 16th green in the final round. Curtis's win is his first ever as a professional.
- August 14–17 - PGA Championship - Shaun Micheel, another virtual unknown although a tour player for several seasons, emulates Curtis by making his first professional victory a major championship. He wins by 2 shots from Chad Campbell at the tough Oak Hill Country Club. These results meant that for the first time since 1969, all four majors were won by golfers who had never before won a major title.
- Other highlights
- March 2 - Tiger Woods wins the Accenture Match Play Championships, defeating David Toms 2 and 1.
- April 20 - Davis Love III chips in on the 72nd hole to force a playoff, which he wins, giving him his fifth victory at the MCI Heritage at Harbour Town.
- May 22 - At the Bank of America Colonial golf tournament, LPGA champion Annika Sörenstam became the first woman in 58 years to compete in a men's professional golf tournament.
- June 1 - Kenny Perry wins for the second straight week, this time at The Memorial, held at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
- July 6 - Tiger Woods wins the 100th Western Open at Cog Hill.
- Vijay Singh is the PGA Tour's leading money winner for the year, with earnings of $7,349,907 in 27 events.
- The Senior PGA Tour renames itself the Champions Tour. Tom Watson is the tour's leading money winner, with earnings of $1,853,108 in 14 events.
- Presidents Cup - For the first time ever, the Cup is shared between the United States and International teams. The result comes after a playoff - between each team's leading player Tiger Woods and Ernie Els - has to be abandoned due to bad light.
- Major results
- Michelle Wie, then 13 years old, becomes the youngest person ever to win a USGA event for adults by winning the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links.
- January 15–16 - At the age of 14, golf prodigy Michelle Wie becomes the youngest woman (and only the fourth overall) to play at a PGA Tour event, shooting 72-68 (even par) at the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in her hometown of Honolulu. She missed the cut by one stroke.
- February 29 - Annika Sörenstam wins her third ANZ Ladies Masters.
- March 28 - Grace Park wins the first major of the LPGA season, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, by one shot over 17-year-old Aree Song. Michelle Wie finished fourth, four shots behind Park.
- April 11 - Phil Mickelson wins The Masters, the first major of his career. Mickelson birdies the final hole to defeat Ernie Els by a single shot.
- June 13 - Annika Sörenstam successfully defends her title in the second major of the LPGA season, the LPGA Championship.
- June 20 - Retief Goosen captures a second U.S.Open victory, after Phil Mickelson falters over the closing holes at Shinnecock Hills chasing a second successive major.
- July 18 - Todd Hamilton wins The Open at Royal Troon, surprising many by beating Ernie Els in a playoff for the title, from a final-day leaderboard that also included recent major champions Mickelson, Goosen, Woods, and Mike Weir.
- August 15 - Vijay Singh wins the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in a three-hole playoff with Chris DiMarco and Justin Leonard. Phil Mickelson finishes among the top ten for the fourth time in a major in 2004.
- September 6 - Vijay Singh replaces Tiger Woods at the top of the world rankings, ending Woods' reign of five years and four weeks. Singh, at the age of 41, enjoys his most successful season, winning nine times on the U.S.Tour.
- September 17–19 - Team Europe defeats Team USA 18½–9½ to retain the Ryder Cup. See 2004 Ryder Cup for more details.
For fuller coverage see 2005 in golf.
- 7–10 April: The Masters - Tiger Woods defeated fellow American Chris DiMarco at the first playoff hole to claim his 4th Masters title, and his 9th major. DiMarco becomes only the second player (after Tom Watson) to lose playoffs in consecutive major championships.
- 16–19 June: U.S. Open - Michael Campbell came from behind in the fourth round to win his first major with an even par score. He was the first New Zealander to win a major since Bob Charles won the British Open in 1963, and only the third golfer of mainly non-European descent to win a major title (Campbell is a Māori).
- 14–17 July: The Open Championship - Tiger Woods leads wire-to-wire at the historic Old Course at St Andrews and wins his second Open Championship, and 10th major, by 5 strokes. Woods becomes only the second golfer, after Jack Nicklaus, to win each major more than once.
- 11–15 August: PGA Championship - Phil Mickelson wins his second major championship, scoring a birdie on the final hole to win the tournament by one stroke (-4, 276) over Thomas Bjørn and Steve Elkington on the lower course of the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. The tournament concluded Monday after a rain delay on Sunday.
- March: Kraft Nabisco Championship - Annika Sörenstam won her eighth major.
- June: LPGA Championship - Annika Sörenstam cruised to a three shot win to claim her second major of the year and ninth of her career. Fifteen-year-old Michelle Wie was runner-up.
- June: U.S. Women's Open - Birdie Kim holes a 30-yard sand shot on the 72nd hole to set the stage for a two-shot win over teenage amateurs Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lang. This was the first LPGA win for the previously little-known Korean.
- July: Women's British Open - Another little-known Korean, Jeong Jang, wins her first LPGA tournament.
Money list/order of merit winners
- PGA Tour - Tiger Woods: $10,628,024 final money list
- European Tour - Colin Montgomerie: €2,794,222.84 final order of merit
- LPGA Tour - Annika Sörenstam: $2,588,240.final money list
- Champions Tour - Dana Quigley: $2,170,258 final money list