Tiger Equals Palmer’s Record

The names simply keep falling off the conquered list as Tiger Woods continues his sweep of some of golf’s greatest records.

Arnold Palmer is the latest legend to watch Woods emerge astride him after the Buick Invitational on the PGA Tour. Woods won his sixth Buick title on Sunday for his 62nd career victory to tie Palmer for fourth place on the all-time list.

Woods achieved the feat only a few weeks after his 32nd birthday. Palmer was 44 when he claimed No. 62 at the 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic.

Interestingly, Woods’ next strokeplay tournament inside the United States is the Arnold Palmer Invitation in Orlando, where the world number one could surpass one of the true greats of the game.

Ben Hogan, with 64 titles, is his next target while the ultimate aim is to surpass Sam Snead’s record of 82.

As most everyone else, the 78-year-old Palmer, whose achievements will in no way be undermined simply because he drops one notch below Woods, was quick to praise Tiger. He was quoted as saying on the PGA Tour website:

“Well, I think it’s obvious that Tiger has played tremendous golf, and he’s lived up to all the expectations. Am I surprised? No. I am not surprised. We’ve seen for a long time that he is capable of playing at a high level, and that should continue.”

Woods closed at Torrey Pines in San Diego with a one-under-par 71 for an eight-shot victory and his third straight PGA Tour victory.

Typically of Woods, he provided the crowd with plenty of entertainment with a rollercoaster 60-foot birdie as well as three straight bogeys coming home.

Significantly, he reckons he is a better player than he was in 2000 when he won three straight majors for his Tiger Slam of four major titles. Woods was quoted by the Associated Press as saying:

“I’m starting to get better. I’m hitting shots that I never could hit before, even in 2000. People think, ‘Yeah, you played great.’ But I made everything. I’m actually hitting the ball better now than I did during that stretch.”

Woods totalled 19-under 269 for his victory over Ryuji Imada, who scored 67 in his final round for the runner-up position.

South African Rory Sabbatini scored 67 to finish in a tie for third with Stewart Cink, who closed with 73.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Australian star Adam Scott blitzed the course on the final day with an 11-under-par 61 to win the European Tour’s Qatar Masters for the second time.

Scott also won a BMW 650i coupe worth $100,000 after he took two strokes off the previous course record.

He finished at 20-under-par 268 to match Paul Lawrie’s lowest aggregate of 1999 as he claimed a three-stroke win over Henrik Stenson, who closed with 65. Looking forward to future tournaments, Scott said on the European Tour site:

“This win has got me back in the swing of things quickly, and it is important to build on this momentum now. We’ve got a lot of big tournaments. There’s two World Golf Championships and the Masters in the next two and a half months.”

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