Date: January 09, 2009

The pain barrier

Tiger Woods heroics at Torrey Pines have been voted by Golf Australia online readers as their highlight in international golf for 2008. Suffering severe pain in his knee, Woods came up against little-known qualifier Rocco Mediate- who took him through 91 holes at the US Open until Mediate s putt missed and handed Woods an astonishing victory. The world number one described it as the finest moment in his career while Mediate could only laugh and say Tiger was not normal. Close behind Tiger s gripping battle with knee soreness and a gutsy qualifier was Greg Norman s attempt at winding back the years in horrendous weather conditions at Royal Birkdale. After three rounds of golf which played superbly to the conditions and reminded many of the Norman of old, it was Ireland s Padraig Harrington who pipped the Shark on the final day to add another Claret jug to his collection to go with the 2008 US PGA Championship. Harrington s extraordinary back-to-back major wins crowned a superb year for the Irishman and catapaulted him into third place in the poll. Now ranked number 4 in the world, Harrington will be looking to Augusta to rekindle the form which took him to consecutive major silverware in 2008. Katherine Hull s maiden win at the Canadian Open also polled well among readers. Results: Tiger Woods&apos win at Torrey Pines: 45% Shark&aposs Royal Birkdale performance: 38% Harrington&aposs double-major: 10% Katherine Hull&aposs Canadian Open win: 7%