US golfer Tiger Woods lets go of his driver on his follow
through while hitting off the 9th tee during final round
play. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Tiger Woods withstood a late bogey, double-bogey, par,
bogey wobble in strengthening winds to end a week of dominant
golf by clinching his 75th PGA Tour title by four shots at the
Farmers Insurance Open.
Six strokes in front overnight at 17 under with 11 holes to
play in the fog-delayed final round, Woods kept his closest
challengers at bay as he signed off with a level-par 72 on a
cold, sun-splashed afternoon at Torrey Pines.
The 14-times major champion briefly moved eight ahead before
his unexpected stumble in increasingly difficult conditions
over the four-hole stretch from the 14th but he parred the
last to post a 14-under total of 274.
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker dropped one shot in the
five holes he had to complete on Monday, carding a 69 to tie
for second with fellow American Josh Teater (69).
"It got a little ugly toward the end," Woods said greenside
after removing his cap and raising both arms skywards to
celebrate his seventh victory at the event.
"We played nine holes in just over three hours, and three of
them are par threes. I started losing my patience a little
bit, and that's when I made a few mistakes.
"But all my good play before that really allowed me to afford
those mistakes. I'm excited the way I played all week. I hit
the ball well, pretty much did everything well this week and
built myself a nice little cushion."
Woods triumphed in a third different PGA Tour event for a
seventh time, having already recorded seven wins apiece at
the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Arnold Palmer
His 75th career victory on the U.S. circuit put him seven
behind the record 82 piled up by Sam Snead, the only player
ahead of him in the all-time standings.
"A win always makes it special," said Woods, who clinched the
most recent of his 14 majors in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey
Pines. "Does it feel good? Yes. Does it give me confidence?
Absolutely. I'm excited about this year."
The first Monday finish in 61 editions of the Farmers
Insurance Open was played at a painfully slow pace, Woods and
his two partners having to wait on virtually every tee before
they could proceed.
Having started the day with a commanding six-shot lead after
seven holes, Woods safely parred the short eighth to maintain
Though he pushed his drive well right of the fairway at the
par-five ninth, taking a free drop after his ball ended up by
a fence, he recovered well to par the hole and reach the turn
in three-under 33.
Former champion Nick Watney, who had birdied the ninth to
move briefly five strokes off the pace, slid backwards with
bogeys at the 10th and 12th to hand Woods a seven-stroke
As the winds began to strengthen, Woods conjured a magical
sand shot at the par-three 11th from an awkward stance with
both feet outside a greenside bunker, his ball settling a
foot from the hole for a tap-in par.
A two-putt birdie at the par-five 13th put Woods eight
strokes clear but he then faltered with a bogey at the
par-four 14th where he found rough off the tee and a
greenside bunker with his approach.
Worse was to follow at the par-four 15th where he ran up a
double-bogey after hooking his drive into a hazard via a tree
and losing his ball. He missed a bogey putt from 10 feet to
slide back to 15 under.
Woods also bogeyed the 17th, coming up short with a five-iron
approach to end up in a greenside bunker, for his lead to be
trimmed to four before he comfortably parred the last.
Watney, winner here in 2009, bogeyed four of his last nine
holes for a 71 to finish in a tie for fourth at nine under
with fellow American Jimmy Walker (71).
"Today was a bit rocky," said five-times PGA Tour champion
Watney. "I don't know if it was the wind or whatever it was.
"I'm close to doing some good things, and I just want to get
a little closer next time. I don't if anybody would have
beaten him this week," he said of Woods. "He's definitely on
Three-times champion Phil Mickelson closed with a 70 to share
51st place at level-par 288, a distant 14 strokes behind