Woods thunders to eight-shot win

Tiger Woods carded a last-round 67 to win the World Golf Championship event at The Grove on Sunday by eight shots from England’s Ian Poulter and Adam Scott of Australia.

Woods was 23-under for the tournament and did not need to extend himself after taking a six-shot lead into the final day.

Play was suspended twice because of lightning, the second time when Woods was on the 12th, a hole he bogeyed when action resumed.

But a birdie at the 15th got the shot back and he made another at the last to be four-under for the day and take his sixth straight strokeplay event in a row and his 72nd win as a professional.

Poulter had a 66, five-under par to jump up the field, and Scott a closing 69, but no-one came close to threatening Woods.

“I thought if I just stuck with what I was doing and didn’t make any bogeys—I made one—I should be able to get it in,” said Woods.

“I’m going to take a break now. I can’t wait to get in the water and do some diving and get away from the game for a while. I’ve played seven out of the last nine weeks, which is a lot for me and I’m fried.”

Woods said that he was happy with his performances.

“I hit it good this week.
It’s fun when you hit the ball really well over 72 holes and control it that well.

“I’ve had a pretty good year. Nine wins with two majors in there as well and a couple of World Golf Championships is good. The things I’ve been working on for the last couple of years have finally started to come together.

“It’s nice to see the fruits of all that hard labour.”

When play was suspended for the first time, there was a two-hour break.

At that time Woods’s ball was on the eighth green. He missed the 16-foot putt for birdie when play re-started but a birdie three at the 351-yard tenth, where he drove close to the green, stretched his lead.

With such a huge lead Woods didn’t need to play aggressively and he started with a solid four at the first and a birdie at the second although that should have been an eagle.

Woods had put his second to two-and-a-half feet on the par-5 but somehow missed the putt.

But just as compatriot Jim Furyk got to within five shots, Woods restored his advantage to six when he made a 12-foot birdie putt at the fifth and he covered the first nine holes in 33, two-under par.

Woods has now led going into the final round of 41 tournaments and has won 38 of them.

In major championships, he has won all 12 times he has been leading after three rounds.

Before Sunday he had also won 11 of 21 previous World Golf Championship events, including three out of the last four banking more than $16-million in the process.

Victory here gave him his eighth PGA Tour win of the season, something only he (1999 and 2000), Vijay Singh (2004) and Johnny Miller (1974) have achieved.

Elsewhere, Robert Karlsson of Sweden had the round of the day, a 64 to finish 21st, Furyk’s 69 left him fourth and a closing 67 from Ernie Els gave him fifth place.

Some of Europe’s Ryder Cup stars showed the effects of their exertions at The K Club last week.

Paul Casey trailed home in 56th place, eight-over par, and Colin Montgomerie finished with a 77 and 41st place.

Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee had a 65 to leap up to ninth place.—AFP