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Hal Sutton won THE PLAYERS Championship in 2000
Stadium Stories: Be the right club
When history casts its eye upon the final PLAYERS Championship of the 20th century, Hal Sutton’s victory will tell a tale of resurgence - how Sutton rose once more to golfing prominence, 17 years after he claimed his first PLAYERS victory. It may also be remembered more prominently for the footnote of the story – the runner up being none other than Tiger Woods, who entered the tournament having won 10 of his last 16 tournaments.
The only man to break 70 in 30 mile-per-hour winds on Thursday, Hal Sutton showed he meant business. A second round 69 followed, giving him a one-stroke advantage over Tom Lehman and Omar Uresti. By the end of the next day, birdie-laden rounds for both Sutton (69) and Woods (66) would leave the pairing atop the leaderboard, Woods just one stroke back, both one round from victory.
Woods opened with an effortless birdie on the 1st to pull even. Sutton, however, remained unwaivered. Bogeys by Woods on the 3rd and 4th holes, along with a huge 25-foot birdie on 11 saw Sutton stretch his lead to three before the heavens opened and play delayed until Monday morning.
Despite the break in play, he picked up where he left off – making one par at a time. Though Woods bounced back from an opening bogey with a birdie on 13 before an eagle at the par-5 16th, Sutton kept his cool, making par on the Island Green to reach No. 18 one stroke ahead. There Sutton uttered his now infamous entreaty of "Be the right club today!" hitting aperfect approach six-iron from 179 yards to within eight feet wrap-up a one-stroke victory.
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