Tiger Woods' first win at Quail Hollow began with Michael Jordan

UNITED STATES - MAY 02: Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods during the Pro-Am prior to the 2007 Wachovia Championship held at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 2, 2007. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Tiger Woods' first win at Quail Hollow began with Michael Jordan

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods' first win at Quail Hollow began with Michael Jordan

Tiger Woods returns to Quail Hollow and the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship this week in Charlotte, N.C. Woods last won this event in 2007, when the tournament went by a different sponsor name.

While the Wachovia Championship has faded into bank-merger history, the memories of Woods’ last win in Charlotte linger.

Perhaps the most notable part of his week was his pairing with Michael Jordan in the pro-am that packed the course.

It marked the first time the two long-time friends had played together in a competitive event.

When asked if they had a friendly wager on their round, Tiger Woods deadpanned: “We’re not allowed to bet on the Tour.”

The competitive nature of both Alpha Male/Athlete of the Century-types made a friendly wager, or two, or 18, a near certainty.

“Whether it’s playing golf or playing cards or just hanging out, whatever it is, we’re always having a great time, always needling each other,” Woods said. “There’s always a wager of some sort on anything we do because we always want to one-up one another, and that’s the nature of how we are, and I think that’s also one of the reasons why we’ve been able to accomplish the things that we’ve been able to accomplish.”

And even though Jordan was then 44, his basketball skills had yet to atrophy, at least according to Woods.

“His golf game is a lot better than my basketball,” Woods added. “He’s still MJ on the court when he shoots; he just can’t do it for 48 minutes. It’s now like five minutes. But the shots, you know, the fadeaway, the drop step, he has it all still.”

In the tournament, Woods defeated Steve Stricker by two shots after entering the final round trailing Rory Sabbatini by one. Woods shot a 69 on Sunday but struggled mightily for most of the afternoon. He drained a 60-footer for an eagle on No. 7 to take his first lead of the day. That cushion was needed to absorb a disastrous-for-anyone-else three-putt/double-bogey on the par-13th. There, he saw a three-shot lead evaporate.

Woods would reclaim a two-shot lead though 15th, and then rode home without much worry over the most treacherous holes on the course.

“My whole goal coming in after that was to try to get the lead through 15,” Woods said. “I figured if I parred in, I’d probably win the tournament because these conditions, no one is going to play those last three holes under par.”

It was his 57th career victory, which left him mid-way between Byron Nelson (52) and Arnold Palmer (62) on the all-time PGA Tour winners’ list.

The then-31-year-old Woods finished with a 13-under 275, the lowest score in the history of the tournament at that time. He moved into the top spot of the FedEx Cup standings for the first time in 2007, even though it was just his sixth event.

“You always want to win tournaments you haven’t played, and then again, you also just want to win tournaments,” Woods added, after putting on the tournament’s blue jacket. “This one, considering the field and the golf course and the conditions, (I’m) ecstatic to have won here.”

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