With the WGC-Dell Match Play upon us, it’s time to remember the greatest thumping in tournament history. Tiger Woods took Stephen Ames behind the woodshed to the tune of 9&8 during the 2006 edition.
Stephen Ames’ ill-considered remarks prompted Woods’ unrivaled display of #TourSauce. Asked whether he could beat Woods, Ames said, “Anything can happen. Especially where he’s hitting the ball.”
The Guardian’s Lawrence Donegan wrote at the time: “It is not in the rules, but one of golf’s golden rules is do not antagonise Tiger Woods.” Stephen Ames learned that lesson in short order. Woods won every hole on the front nine, ending the match on the 10th hole. The 9&8 drubbing is the most severe in the history of the tournament, and indeed, 9&8 is about as quick as one can dispense with an opponent in match play.
The PGA Tour’s Skratch TV put together this brilliant video.
— Skratch (@Skratch) March 21, 2017
TW was six under through his first six holes against Ames. He posted a seven-under total for his front nine, four strokes better than anyone else in the match play field that day. “I put together a pretty good round,” Woods said after the match. And then, of course, in the ultimate verbal display of Tour Sauce, Woods, when asked what he thought of Ames remarks said the following: “9&8.”
Damn. 9&8, indeed. The Canadian Ames, for his part, wasn’t exactly contrite after the drubbing. “Phil [Mickelson] and Vijay [Singh] would have struggled against him today,” Ames said after the match.
Perhaps so, but Phil and Vijay weren’t in any danger of having their careers defined by pulling Tiger’s tail. Stephen Ames tombstone will only have three characters: “9&8”
With the WGC-Dell Match Play underway, the Masters is looming right around the corner. Thankfully Las Vegas revealed their list of favorites for you: