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  Tuesday, 3 April, 2001, 09:31 GMT 10:31 UK
Grand Slam debate rages at Augusta
Tiger Woods is presented with the winner's jacket by Arnold Palmer at the Bay Hill Invitational earlier this year
"He's the favourite but it's got to be in one year"
It may seem a trifle premature given that Tiger Woods has yet to strike a ball.

But the debate raging at Augusta is not who will win the Masters, but how to define another victory by the world number one.

Tiger believes a triumph at the Masters will make him the first golfer to complete the modern-day Grand Slam of all four Majors.

But the purists, led by old timers such as Arnold Palmer, believe it will be nothing but a Tiger Slam.

Arnold Palmer photographed winning at Wentworth in 1967
Palmer: Won two Majors in one year but never all four
Palmer, who claims to have conceived the idea in 1960 after winning the season's first two Majors, says the four Majors must be won in the same season in order to count as a Grand Slam.

"If Tiger wins he is starting a new season, it's not a continuation of last year.

"There is no question he is the odds-on favourite.

"But it's got to be in one year, although if there is someone who can do what we are talking about, it is Tiger."

Tiger finished third in last year's Masters but followed it with victory in the following three Majors: the US Open, the Open and the USPGA.

Tiger Woods wins the 2000 USPGA in a play-off against Bob May
Woods: No doubts it will be a Grand Slam
Interestingly, Woods reportedly followed the purists' line - until his thrilling victory over Bob May at Valhalla eight months ago.

Palmer says the idea of a professional Grand Slam was born in 1960 after he had captured the Masters and US Open championships.

He decided to play in his first British Open that year - at St Andrews - spurred on by the notion that he might be able to pull off the professional equivalent of Bobby Jones's grand slam of 1930.

In those days the slam comprised the US and British Opens and the US and British Amateurs.

At the time Jones's achievement was dubbed "The Impregnable Quadrilateral" by sportswriters.

Bobby Jones at the British Amateur Championship at Hoylake in 1921
Jones: Impregnable Quadrilateral
Palmer lost the 1960 Open by a single stroke to Kel Nagle before going on to win the British crown for the next two years.

Golf's other near miss came during the 1953 season when Ben Hogan won three of golf's four most cherished prizes.

Hogan won the Masters, US Open and the British Open, but had to skip the PGA Championship, won by Walter Burkemo, because of a scheduling conflict with the Open.

Woods already has one Green Jacket in his cupboard.

He won at Augusta in 1997 with the lowest score (18-under 270), by the widest margin (12 strokes), and at the youngest age (21) only a year after turning professional.

And another Masters victory would bring him his sixth Major triumph and take him one-third of the way to his ultimate goal - the towering 18 career Major titles won by Jack Nicklaus.

But whether it will make him the first to achieve golf's toughest test is likely to remain another of the game's great conundrums.

Tiger Woods
"I think if you can put all four trophies on your coffee table you can make a pretty good case"
Darren Clarke
"If he decides it's a Grand Slam, he has got every right to decide it is"

Tiger's Grand Slam

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