Tiger Racks Up Another Title

There is now one fewer tournament that Tiger Woods hasn’t won. The multi-Major winner rode a roller-coaster final round of three-under-par 69 for a two-stroke victory over Steve Stricker at the Wachovia Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was Woods’ third PGA Tour victory of the season and ninth in his last 12 starts. It was also among his wildest triumphs with the world’s best player turning a near-blunder into an eagle.

Woods totalled 13-under-par 275 for the lowest score in the tournament’s five-year history and a winner’s cheque of $1.134 million. He also leaped to the top of the FedEx Cupstandings.

Woods, quoted by the Associated Press, was relieved to have won:

“Over the course of my career, I’ve won a few tournaments here and there, and it’s been nice. This one, considering the field and the golf course and the conditions, ecstatic to have won here.”

Phil Mickelson and Rory Sabbatini were tied for third at 279 with Stewart Cink and Anthony Kim a further stroke behind. Vijay Singh, Ken Duke and Arron Oberholser shared seventh place on 281.

The shot of the round came on the par-five seventh, where Woods hit his tee shot over a bunker and thought the ball had found water. However, it landed on the rough, just 18 inches from the drink, and Woods was able to hit a seven-iron 193 yards to the green. He then stroked a 60-foot putt down a hazardous slope that took an age to drop into the hole.

While Woods nearly found water, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was drenched in it after his victory at the Telecom Italia Open on the European Tour.

Fernandez-Castano sank a birdie on the second play-off hole to beat Austria’s Markus Brier for his third European title, after which his ecstatic compatriots threw him into the club swimming pool.

He closed with a seven-under-par 65 for his three-round total of 16-under-par 200. The tournament was reduced to 54 holes because of bad weather on Saturday.

Brier, looking for his second title inside a month, forced the play-off after two birdies in his last three holes gave him a final round of 68.

England’s Nick Dougherty blew a three-stroke lead with nine holes to play and missed the play-off after a bogey on the 17th.

Fernandez-Castano went the opposite way, overturning a five-shot deficit to come out on top, and he said on the European Tour website:

“Five shots is a lot to make up on a course where everybody can make birdies. I haven’t been playing well but my attitude changed this week, probably because I love coming to Italy, great food, great course, great people.”

On the Asian Tour, South Korean Kim Kyung-tae won his maiden title at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open in Seoul in spectacular.

The 20-year-old Asian Games champion shot a final round of five-under-par 67 for a winning total of 18-under-par 270 and a five-shot win over China’s Liang Wen-chong, who led for three rounds.

Liang closed with a 73 while Korean amateur Lee Jim-myung was a further four shots back on 279.

One Response to “Tiger Racks Up Another Title”

  1. tim says:

    Andy, absolutly fantastic, very informative and to the point. Health permiting I’m looking forward to playing a round at one of the great courses in the motherland of golf, maybe next spring or summer… Tim

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