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Year in golf: Woods scandal tops golf's 2010 storylines

All that Welsh mud has dried by now, offering something of a bookend finish to the PGA Tour's high season. Mud — or more aptly, slime — also ruled headlines, you'll recall, as 2010 set forth.

Come to think of it, there wasn't much tidiness in between, either.

Tiger Woods didn't win a tournament. Phil Mickelson won one. So did a Monday qualifier ( Arjun Atwal, Greensboro). Nobody won more than three. Two players shot 59.

A rules violation decided a playoff. Another denied someone a playoff — for a major. The player claiming the biggest payday had been DQ'd from the playoff opener without hitting a shot.

Story of the Year: His televised mea culpa sent world markets into brief slowdown. Even presidents can't do that. And it was just a sliver of the soap opera that engulfed Woods' 2010 as he began to put the pieces back together after a sex scandal.

He went into hiding, delivered his sorries, disappeared again, was in Sunday contention at the Masters. He missed a cut, hurt his neck, was fired by his coach, ditched his trusty putter, took it back, got divorced, found a new coach, climbed the FedEx Cup chart, missed the finale anyway. Google it. Space is tight.

Player of the Year: Jim Furyk opened the FedEx Cup playoffs by oversleeping his pro-am time at The Barclays, bringing tournament disqualification. But his third win of 2010 was perfectly timed — a Tour Championship victory for the points title and an $11.35 million windfall.

Shot of the Year: Mickelson's caddie even advised against it, but Lefty's 6-iron shot from the pine straw and through a narrow opening at Augusta National's 13th hole keyed his third Masters title.

Magic number: Before 2010, only three men had shot 59 in a PGA Tour event. Then it happened twice in four weeks — Paul Goydos to open the John Deere Classic (he lost to Steve Stricker) and Stuart Appleby to win the Greenbrier Classic.

Rulebook madness: Brian Davis handed Furyk the Heritage title when he called a penalty on himself in a playoff for nicking a loose reed in a hazard. Dustin Johnson missed the PGA Championship playoff after grounding his club in a remote bunker fans had been standing in.

jshain@tribune.com

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