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Mark O'Meara

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Mark O'Meara

Mark O'Meara holds The Masters trophy that he won at the 1998 tournament.

David Cannon/Getty Images

Mark O'Meara turned a late-career friendship with Tiger Woods into a newfound confidence that translated into two major championship victories in 1998.

Date of birth: Jan. 13, 1957
Place of birth: Goldsboro, N.C.

Tour Victories:

PGA Tour: 16
List of Mark O'Meara's PGA Tour wins
Champions Tour: 2

Major Championships:

Professional - 2
• The Masters: 1998
• British Open: 1998

Amateur - 1
• U.S. Amateur: 1979

Awards and Honors:

• PGA Tour Player of the Year, 1998
• Member, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999
• Member, U.S. Presidents Cup team, 1996, 1998

Quote, Unquote:

Mark O'Meara: "I had won plenty of times before I ever met Tiger (Woods), but I learned the value of self-belief and drive from him. He always believed in me, even when I didn't believe I could be a major champion."

Trivia:

• O'Meara is the oldest golfer to win two majors in the same year, doing so at age 41 in 1998.

• O'Meara won the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am five times, the record for that event.

Mark O'Meara Biography:

An accomplished golfer throughout his career - a winner in the 1980s and early 1990s - Mark O'Meara finally blossomed into one season of greatness after meeting Tiger Woods. O'Meara became a mentor to Woods in Tiger's earliest years on the PGA Tour; the two became neighbors, dinner companions, and played golf together frequently on their home course in Orlando, Fla.

And something happend to O'Meara as a result of all that Tiger time: "I learned the value of self-belief and drive from him," O'Meara would later say.

And in 1998, that self-belief and drive - and the golf game that had always been there - produced two major championships, the only ones of O'Meara's career, at the age of 41.

According to the PGA Tour, O'Meara took up golf after his family moved onto a golf course in California when he was 13. He became good enough to earn a scholarship to Long Beach State University, and his collegiate career peaked when he defeated John Cook in the finals of the 1979 U.S. Amateur Championship.

O'Meara turned pro in 1980, made it through Q-School at end of the year, and joined the PGA Tour in 1981.

His first PGA Tour win was the 1984 Greater Milwaukee Open. O'Meara also finished second five times that year, and had his best finish (second) on the money list (he also had Top 10 money list finishes in 1985, 1990, 1996 and 1997).

Another two victories came in 1985, including the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a tournament O'Meara went on to win a record-total of five times.

O'Meara's best years were 1995-98, when he won twice each year. His 1998 was previewed in 1997, with two wins on the USPGA and one on the European Tour.

And then 1998 arrived. In addition to The Masters - which O'Meara won with a final-hole birdie - and the British Open, O'Meara also won the World Match Play Championship in England, defeating Woods 1-up in the 36-hole final.

O'Meara never won again on the PGA Tour, and his last "regular" (as opposed to senior) victory was the 2004 Dubai Desert Classic. He finished his PGA Tour career with 16 wins and 22 seconds.

O'Meara was noted as an excellent putter throughout his career, but in his later years on the PGA Tour that stroke deserted him. So he switched to what he called the "saw" grip, which the Associated Press described thusly: "The top hand - the left - assumes a normal position with the right pinching the shaft between the thumb and three fingers. The posture aligns the wrist with the forearm."

O'Meara joined the Champions Tour in 2007.

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