Tiger Woods Lookback: 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills
While four-time PGA Championship winner Tiger Woods has confirmed his heroic return to professional golf just 14 months after a horrible car accident, this year also marks the 15 year anniversary of Woods’ victory at Southern Hills Country Club – the host course for this year’s Major Championship.
Woods captured his fourth PGA Championship in 2007, topping Woody Austin by two shots.
Austin made it interesting on the back nine making birdies on No’s 11-13, and when Woods made a bogey on the par-3 14th, his lead was down to one.
Austin, who was looking for his first PGA Championship win, couldn’t convert any more birdie attempts coming home, however, and after Woods made a bounce-back birdie on 15 he managed to hold on to that two-shot cushion.
“I got off to a good start. And I was 2-under there through eight holes. Felt like I was in control of the tournament. I knew that Woody was playing well, and Ernie (Els) was making a run,” said Woods at the time. “But 14 was a little mishap there. Three-putted that one and I felt like I gave all the momentum back to Ernie and to Woody. And just felt like, ‘you know what, I got myself in this mess, I need to go get myself out of it.’
“And I just did serious yelling at myself going up to the 15th tee, just to get back into what I do. And positioned the golf ball, put it where I need to put it and just bear down, get it down somehow. And I made that putt on there on 15, it felt great. Felt like I had the momentum again, and I was back in control of the tournament. And if I parred in I felt I would win the tournament. It turned out to be the case.”
The win by Woods at Southern Hills came after he started the Championship six shots off the first-round lead. But Woods bounced back with a sizzling 63 in Friday’s second round. The 63 tied for the lowest single-round score at a men’s Major. It also tied the course record at Southern Hills set by Raymond Floyd in 1982 at the PGA Championship. He led by two after the second round and by three after the third round.
“It got me back in the tournament,” said Woods of his 63. “It wasn't like I was out of the tournament, but I just felt that winning score this year was going to probably be around 4-, 5-under par and to go ahead and get it in one lump sum felt pretty good.”
This was Woods’ first Major Championship victory as a father, with daughter Sam born in June of 2007.
The week at Southern Hills was marred by hot weather, with the average temperature hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit during each of the Championship days.
It was no matter to Woods, however, who defended a PGA Championship victory for the second time in his career (he won in both 1999 and 2000 as well as the year prior, in 2006 at Medinah Country Club).
Woods did not play the 2008 PGA Championship but returned with a bang in 2009, nearly winning again but settling for second. He also finished second nearly a decade later, falling just short of Brooks Koepka in 2018.
Still, as the PGA Championship returns to Southern Hills this year, Woods’ 2007 victory – and just his presence if he decides to choose to play – will loom strong.