Woods notches up another victory

World number one Tiger Woods fired a stunning eight-under par 64 in Hawaii on Wednesday to capture his sixth PGA Grand Slam of Golf title, defeating 2004 champion Phil Mickelson by seven strokes.

Woods eagled two par-five holes and fired five birdies against a single bogey to finish the 36-hole showdown of the year’s major champions at 13-under par 131 and capture the $450 000 top prize at the $1-million event.

Woods, a 10-time major winner and reigning champion of the Masters and British Open, won the event five prior times, all in a row from 1998 to 2002. He struggled with stomach flu on Tuesday but improved with every hole.

“It wasn’t looking too good yesterday,” Woods said. “I got myself through it somehow, got something going and played a lot better today.”

Mickelson, the PGA Championship winner, fired a final-round 68 to finish second on 138, five strokes ahead of New Zealand’s Michael Campbell, the United States Open champion who fired a 70 to end on 143 on Wednesday.

Fiji’s Vijay Singh, able to qualify on major overall performance thanks to Woods’s two major titles, fired a 69 on Wednesday to finish last on level par 144.
Second-ranked Singh had three prior runner-up finishes at this event.

Third-ranked Mickelson began the round three strokes behind Woods and was the same distance behind his US compatriot at the 11th tee when he found the water at the par-three hole.

Woods put his tee shot inches from the cup and birdied the hole.

Mickelson took a double bogey, a three-stroke swing that doubled Woods’s edge to six strokes, and left little doubt about the final outcome in the made-for-TV event.

Punctuating the round was Woods’s second shot at the par-five 14th, a 200-yard effort with a three-wood that landed inches from the cup.

“That was a good one,” Woods said. “I was trying to run it up the gap and I actually flushed it. You can envision it, see it, and when you hit it, it’s something special.”

Woods birdied the second and third holes, suffered his only bogey at the fifth but responded with an eagle on the next hole. Woods birdied 11 and 13, then eagled 14 and concluded with a birdie to produce the final margin.

Woods, coming off a title defence last weekend in Japan, has a weekend date with Fred Couples, Fred Funk and women’s world number one Annika Sorenstam of Sweden at the annual Skins Game and hosts his own charity tourney next month.—Sapa-AFP

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