#THEPLAYERSFBF: 1989, Tom Kite

Posted by Darragh Farrelly on Nov 11, 2016 8:58:08 AM

The distinct challenges that THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass presents for THE PLAYERS Championship are all-conquering; every error seems to be punished tenfold. Since its inception in 1974, THE PLAYERS Championship has been the flagship tournament on the PGA Tour’s calendar. The perks; 600 FedExCup points, equal to the four major championships, a similar amount of Official World Golf Ranking points to the majors and a five-year exemption on the PGA TOUR. A prize fund of $10.5 million for 2016 - the highest prize fund of any tournament in golf - was further endorsed by the sheer level of competition in the field. To categorize such a prize, the $1.89 million winner’s fund usurps that of Arnold Palmer’s entire career earnings.

Players Championship 1-5.jpgFor PGA TOUR players, this is an event that is ear-marked from the beginning of the season. Over the last twenty years or so, the event has grown both in stature and as a spectator experience. THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass tests every aspect of a players’ game. The hole, often referred to as the “Island Green” is the course’s signature hole, and one of the most iconic and recognizable holes in the world.

The “Fifth Major” as it is so often referred to, is the PGA TOUR’s major. It brings the best of the best out, but also presents a course which can crucify you in a heartbeat (see; Bob Tway’s third round 12 on 17 in 2005). Patience really is a virtue here. 

 “It’s one of the toughest courses we play all year,” said 2015 champion Rickie Fowler. “Probably the toughest field that we play all year. So, I mean, whoever is winning is taking care of business, beating the best players at the time and conquering one of the toughest courses that we play.”

From its inauguration in 1974, THE PLAYERS has seen it all. From Greg Norman’s wizardry in 1994, where he shot a course record 264, to Steve Lowery finding dry land on 17th in 1998, only for a seagull to take it upon himself to dunk it into the lake, the history of this prestigious event is illustrious.

#THEPLAYERSFBF

Each Friday for the next 42 weeks, QuintEvents, in association with THE PLAYERS, will recount the story of each of the previous 42 winners. Beginning with Jack Nicklaus’ maiden victory at the Atlanta Country Club right up to Jason Day's triumph in 2016, we'll tell their tales of success leading us all the way up to 2017’s event!

Tom Kite, 1989

Tom Kite 1989.jpgA final round 1-under-par for Texan Tom Kite saw him overtake overnight leader Chip Beck to capture a one-stroke victory, and claim a check for $243,000.

With conditions tough all week, swirling winds at TPC Sawgrass made players work for every birdie. Beck, playing with Kite in the final grouping, learned that from early on Sunday as he bogeyed three of the first four holes and watched his lead dissipate.

Of the 74 golfers remaining in the field on the final day, just one, Hal Sutton, managed to break 70, with a 69, Tom Kite’s momentum got him through with solid if not spectacular golf. 

On the tee at 14, Kite held a three-shot lead. His approach overshot the green and had to settle for a bogey. It was on 15 and 16 in particular that the tournament was won. Getting out of trouble on both, he managed to save par, giving him a two-shot lead with two to play. Beck missed a birdie on 17 to close the gap, his putt coming up short.

Though Beck birdied the final hole, it was to be Kite’s day, as he drained a 4-footer for par to avoid a playoff, and win the tournament by one stroke.

Two bogeys in a three-hole span cost second round leader Bruce Lietzke, who was tied with Kite early in the final round. He eventually wound up in third at 72-281. Australian Greg Norman, with a 72, and 1984 winner Fred Couples, with a 73, tied for fourth at 282.

The 2017 PLAYERS® Championship

Players Championship 2-7.jpgBeginning May 9, 2017, THE PLAYERS Championship is the PGA TOUR’s most anticipated tournament and coveted title. Held at TPC Sawgrass, the “Stadium Course” gives fans and unprecedented experience with on-site access you simply will not get anywhere else.

Watch the world’s best players battle it out at the purest test in golf. By choosing THE PLAYERS Club, you’ll have access to the practice and tournament rounds of your choosing on individual days or for the full week. You’ll also be granted private access to the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, as well as private suites overlooking the 18th Green and signature 17th Tee!

 

Take Me to the 2017 Players Championship!

Topics: THE PLAYERS Championship

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Kristen Doolan

Kristen Doolan was born and raised a Florida State Seminole. Making her way from Florida to North Carolina, Kristen achieved her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing at The University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is an avid traveler, college football addict, beach bum and loves spending time with her family and friends.

Jazzy Morgan

Jazzy Morgan is originally from London, England and a die-hard Manchester United Fan. She grew up in Connecticut and made the move down south in 2011 where she attended Winthrop University and received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences and a minor in Marketing. Jazzy enjoys traveling, working out, reading her monthly Vogue & Cosmo and keeping up with fashion trends.

 

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Evan Chronis was born in Omaha, Nebraska but has made his home in south Charlotte for almost two decades. A Tar Heel born and bred, Evan received his B.A in Media and Journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid Boston sports fan thanks to his family’s New England roots, and a fanboy of Wes Anderson films.