(Eds: With AP Photos.) By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer The statement released by his handlers was almost as bad as the kid's decision to walk out on the tournament.
It was the first big mistake of his career, at a time when the golf world was enthralled by such a young talent. He was criticized by the press and by his peers for his selfish behavior, though there was hope that he at least would learn from his mistake.
This was Tiger Woods, 1996.
In his fourth straight PGA Tour event since turning pro, the 20-year-old Woods effectively locked up a spot on tour with his tie for third in the B.C. Open. The next week he had another sponsor's exemption to the Buick Challenge. Woods showed up at Callaway Gardens before abruptly leaving town, and IMG released a statement that he was exhausted. It looked even worse when Woods didn't even stick around for the Fred Haskins Award dinner to honor him as college player of the year.
Eleven days later, Woods won in Las Vegas and all was forgott...