Tiger Woods is in a familiar position entering the 2012 PGA Championship. Woods is favored to win that elusive 15th major and complete a comeback season in perfect fashion. Woods has won more PGA Tour events than any other golfer in 2012, but nothing short of winning a major will convince critics and fans alike that the old Tiger has returned.
If he wins a fifth PGA Championship this weekend, it will join these other 10 great PGA Championship moments in Woods' career:
1. Woods wins 3-hole playoff: Facing a stiff challenge from unheralded Bob May at the 2000 PGA Championship, Woods came up with three clutch shots on a three-hole playoff. He sunk a birdie on the 16th hole and made par on each of the remaining holes to outlast May for his second career PGA Championship victory.
2. Woods Matches Hogan: When Woods beat May for the 2000 PGA Championship, he became the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win three majors in the same calendar year. No other golfer currently on the PGA Tour has since matched that historic feat. He also became the first golfer to win a repeat PGA Championship since 1937.
3. Woods outlasts Garcia: One of the most memorable parts of Woods' 1999 PGA Championship victory was his ability to outlast Sergio Garcia on the final day. Woods tied Mike Weir for the 54-hole lead. He shot only an even-par 72 on the final day, but it was still good enough to finish a stroke ahead of Garcia after he made par on the final two holes. It was one of many head-to-head duels that Woods would win against other golfers in majors during the decade.
4. Woods ties major scoring record: En route to winning his fourth PGA Championship in 2007, Woods shot a second-round 7-under-63 to climb atop the leaderboard after posting a 1-over-71 on the first day. He tied the record for the lowest single round score at a major and went on to claim a two-stroke win over Woody Austin.
5. Woods wins second major: Winning the 1997 Masters showed Woods could be competitive on the PGA Tour. Prevailing in the 1999 PGA Championship showed that Woods had enough staying power to become the next golf superstar that the game had lacked through much of the '90s.
6. Woods doubles up on birdies: One reason Woods was able to prevail in a three-hole playoff against May in 2000 was his performance on the back nine on Sunday that year. Woods came through in the clutch with birdies on 17 and 18 and finished with a 5-under-67 for the second time that week to set up the playoff triumph.
7. Woods posts four rounds under 70: Everything about the 2006 PGA Championship spoke to Woods' dominance in the prime of his career. He shot under 70 in each round and won by five strokes over Shaun Micheel.
8. Woods passes Hagen : After winning his first PGA Championship in 1999 at Medinah, Woods won there again in 2006. Along the way, he became the first golfer to win two PGA Championships at the same course. He also notched his 12th career major win at the time to pass Walter Hagen on the all-time major victory list.
9. Woods notches four birdies in four holes: Not all of Woods' memorable PGA Championship moments came during eventual victories. During the final round of the 2002 PGA Championship, Woods seemed impossibly out of contention on the back nine. He rallied with four birdies on the final four holes and finished at 9-under for the tournament. It was not enough to unseat eventual winner Rich Beem, but it still ranks as a highlight for Woods.
10. Woods returns to the PGA Championship: The 2009 PGA Championship will be best remembered for Tiger Woods blowing a 54-hole lead for the first time at a major and losing to Y.E. Yang. What should not be forgotten, however, is Woods came back to the PGA Tour after missing the final two majors in 2008 because of a leg injury and recorded his first top-five finish at a major that year.
John Coon enjoys getting in a round from time to time in the Salt Lake City area when he is not covering golf as a freelance sports reporter.