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WGC-American Express Championship 1999

Meet me at Valderrama - promotional poster
Meet me at Valderrama - promotional poster

 

WGC-American Express Championship 1999

The 1999 WGC-American Express Championship was a golf tournament that was contested from 4–7 November 1999 at Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande. It was the first World golf Championship - American Express Championship tournament, and the third and final event in the inaugural year of the World Golf Championships.

World number 1, Tiger Woods won the tournament after defeating Miguel Ángel Jiménez in the first extra hole of a playoff.

 

 

The field was comprised mainly of 42 of the top 50 form the Official World Golf Ranking which included Stuart Appleby, Stewart Cink, Darren Clarke, Glen Day, Steve Elkington, Ernie Els, Bob Estes, Carlos Franco, Fred Funk, Jim Furyk , Sergio García, Brent Geiberger, Retief Goosen, Pádraig Harrington, Dudley Hart, Tim Herron, Scott Hoch, John Huston, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Bernhard Langer, Paul Lawrie, Tom Lehman, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Jeff Maggert, Phil Mickelson, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal, Naomichi Ozaki, Craig Parry, Steve Pate, Chris Perry, Nick Price, Loren Roberts, Vijay Singh, Jeff Sluman, Hal Sutton, David Toms, Bob Tway, Brian Watts, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods.  Payne Stewart would have played but sadly was killed in the crash of a Learjet flying from his home in Orlando, Florida, to Texas on 25th October 1999.

Plus Notah Begay III, Dennis Paulson, Ted Tryba, Duffy Waldorf, Mike Weir from the Top 30 on the 1999 PGA Tour money list through the Tour Championship. Plus Thomas Bjørn, Ángel Cabrera, Alex Čejka, Mark James, Robert Karlsson, Bob May, Jarrod Moseley, Jarmo Sandelin, Jean van de Velde from the Top 20 on the 1999 European Tour Order of Merit through the Volvo Masters.

In the first round  Vejay Sing (Fiji) was leader with a four under par 67 score.

After the second round Tim Herron and Chris Perry were leading with 137 strokes being five under par.     Stewart Cink, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Phil Mickelson, Nick Price, David Toms, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods were in ninth place at this point with 140 strokes behind at 2 under par.

After the second round Chris Perry and Miguel Ángel Jiménez were leading with 209 strokes being four under par.  Tom Lehman, Justin Leonard, Nick Price, Hal Sutton and Tiger Woods were one stroke behind.

In the final round Tiger Woods held a four stroke lead going into the 17th hole but hit the ball into the water on the tough par 5 and ended up scoring a triple bogey that allowed Jiménez to get back in to the gain. Both players finished with 278 strokes being six under par. Dudly Hart (USA) was in third place five strokes behind.   Tiger and Miguel Angel played the par four 18th hole again as a playoff. Tiger managed to birdie and Miguel Angel bogeyed in the falling light.

The victory was Wood's fourth in a row and eighth of the 1999 season. No one had strung that many together since Ben Hogan in 1953. "Hopefully, next year I'll play the same type of golf, and we will see about the number of victories" Tiger said afterwards.