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Anecdotes on and off the fairway

Jason Day ends the year at No. 1 in the world ranking, another indicator of how much and for how long Tiger Woods dominated golf.

This is the eighth straight year that a different player was at No. 1 in the final world ranking _ Woods in 2009, Lee Westwood in 2010, Luke Donald in 2011, Rory McIlroy in 2012, Woods in 2013, McIlroy in 2014, Jordan Spieth in 2015.

Dating to 1998, Woods was at No. 1 in the final ranking in 11 out of 12 years.

Woods ends this year at No. 652, because he didn’t play for 15 months until the Hero World Challenge in December.

What happens next year?

“He’s got to go play,’’ Jack Nicklaus said. “If he plays, he’ll find out if he can come back or not.’’

In the meantime, there still was plenty of action without him, and an endless supply of entertainment. From inside and outside the ropes, here is this year’s collection of “Tales from the Tour’’ before moving on to another year.


During the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, an Australian journalist was at Spyglass Hill following Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, along with their amateur partners, country singer Jake Owen and hockey great Wayne Gretzky. At the end of the round, the journalist couldn’t find a shuttle back to the main press center at Pebble Beach. Gretzky spotted him and offered a ride.

Gretzky grinned as he recounted the conversation.

“`Mate, I’ve never seen a hockey match, but I trust you were better at hockey than you are at golf?’’ the journalist inquired.

“Well,” Gretzky replied, “I did well enough that they invited me to play in the tournament.’’
(DOUG FERGUSON Associated Press)