2. 1997 Masters – Tournament Winnings: $486,000
Tiger’s first Major deserves a place on this list for several reasons. As mentioned, Tiger’s emergence into the golf scene is freighted with social significance. Located in Georgia, Augusta is a golf course that has a deplorable history of racial discrimination, as “racial others” were barred from playing the course for many years. Tiger’s breakthrough win was an important step for the game of golf, a step away from the sport’s history of racial bigotry. Tiger also won the tournament by 12 strokes, running away from the competition, and dominating all of Augusta’s obstacles and hazards. His performance likely incited the efforts by course officials to lengthen Augusta and make it tougher.
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