In a surprise, Ty Votaw announces he'll step down as LPGA commissioner at the end of the year. ? Stuart Appleby wins the PGA Tour's season-opening Mercedes Championships, then rushes to Australia to be there when his wife, Ashley, gives birth to a daughter, Ella, three days later.  Michelle Wie plays in the men's Sony Open for the second time, missing the cut by seven shots.  The Champions tour kicks off its 25th season when Dana Quigley beats Tom Watson in a playoff at the MasterCard Championship.  NBC extends its contract to televise USGA championships through 2014.  Arnold Palmer marries Kathleen (Kit) Gawthrop.  Tag Ridings becomes the first Tour player to make a double eagle and two eagles in the same round, during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. ? Tiger Woods's caddie, Steve Williams, crashes during an auto race in New Zealand, injuring his left hand. Fifty stitches are required.
 John Daly joins Hootie & the Blowfish onstage to sing at a Super Bowl media reception in Jacksonville.  After opening with an 81 at the FBR Open in Scottsdale, Daly withdraws, citing illness. ? Ty Tryon, 20, wins the first tournament of his pro career, a Hooters tour event in Clermont, Fla. The $11,000 first prize exceeds the $9,058 he made in 22 Nationwide tour starts in '04.  Annika Sorenstam and David Esch, married for eight years, file for divorce in Florida.  In Great Britain the Ladies' Golf Union announces that transsexuals will be allowed to enter the Women's British Open.  The day after attending a reception for his new sponsor, Grey Goose vodka, Retief Goosen oversleeps, arrives at Riviera 15 minutes late for his 6:40 a.m. pro-am tee time and is disqualified from the Nissan Open.  Storms reduce the Nissan to 36 holes and unofficial status.  Jennifer Rosales opens the LPGA season by leading wire-to-wire at the SBS Open.
 Jake Nicklaus, the 17-month-old grandson of Jack Nicklaus and the son of Steve and Krista Nicklaus, drowns in a hot tub at his house in North Palm Beach, Fla.  Ian Woosnam is named captain of the 2006 European Ryder Cup team. Nick Faldo will captain in 2008.  Tiger Woods wins an exciting final-round duel with Phil Mickelson at Doral and ends Vijay Singh's run as the No. 1--ranked player in the world after 26 weeks.  When a frustrated Pat Perez gives his ball the finger after missing putts during the final round of the Honda Classic, NBC stops showing his shots live.  Annika Sorenstam wins the Kraft Nabisco Championship to tie Nancy Lopez's record for consecutive LPGA victories with five.  Bob Tway hits four shots into the water at the 17th hole at the TPC at Sawgrass, then three-putts for a 12, breaking the Players Championship record high of 11 on that hole, set by Robert Gamez in 1990.  Pebble Beach Golf Links raises its greens fee from $395 to $425.
 The Portuguese Open, the 14th stop on the European tour, is the first tournament actually played in Europe.  Billy Casper, 73, shoots what would've been a record-high 105 in the first round of the Masters but doesn't turn in his scorecard.  Due to a rainout on Friday and a two-tee restart, Jack Nicklaus finishes his final Masters on the 9th green on Saturday.  Tiger Woods wins the Masters for a fourth time.  The USGA e-mails golf manufacturers inviting them to submit balls that would go 15 to 25 yards shorter.  Tom Kite is disqualified for the first time in 34 years on the PGA Tour for signing for a wrong score at the MCI Heritage Classic.  David Frost needs only 92 putts at the Heritage, breaking the Tour record by one.  Vijay Singh is elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame despite record-low voter support (56%).  The USGA receives a record 9,048 entries to the U.S. Open, three of them from women.
 Jim Thorpe wins the FedEx Kinko's Classic and donates the entire $247,500 first prize to his church.  Cristie Kerr takes the Michelob Ultra Open, ending Annika Sorenstam's five-tournament winning streak.  Tiger Woods misses the cut at the Byron Nelson Championship, ending his record streak of playing on the weekend in 142 consecutive starts. ? Methodist College wins the NCAA Division III women's championship for the eighth straight year.  Duke dusts the field by five strokes at the women's NCAA, winning for the third time in seven years.  Paula Creamer, 18, becomes the second youngest winner in LPGA history at the Sybase Classic.  Creamer graduates from high school.  Mike Reid drives the hour from Ligonier, Pa., to Indiana, Pa., to tour the Jimmy Stewart Museum after the second round of the Senior PGA Championship.  Reid wins the Senior PGA.