Woods Blazes To Blue Blazer
ORLANDO, FLORIDA |
The blue blazer still fit.
For the seventh time, Tiger Woods slipped into
the winner’s jacket at the Arnold Palmer Invi-
tational, shooting a 2-under 70 and cruising to
a five-shot victory and his first official PGA Tour
title since September 2009.
“It was pure joy,” Woods said.
On a day when no one in contention broke
70, Woods made it look easy. He hit his first 10
greens in regulation. Like old times, he domi-
nated Bay Hill’s par 5s in 12-under par for the
week. Woods now has won 49 of the 53 times
he has at least shared a 54-hole lead on Tour.
Quickly, the final round boiled down to Woods
trying to hold off Graeme McDowell, who had
outdueled Woods down the stretch at the 2010
Tiger Woods ended the longest drought of his career, picking up his first official PGA Tour win since the 2009 BMW Championship.
Chevron World Challenge, and everyone else
playing for third place. McDowell made double-
bogey at the first hole, but he climbed within one
shot of the lead momentarily when he drained a
51-foot eagle putt at the par- 5 sixth hole.
Woods produced the shot of the day at the par-
4 eighth hole, feathering his approach from 182
yards over water to within four feet of the flagstick
set in the front left corner and made birdie.
When McDowell’s eight-foot par putt at nine
slid by the right edge, Woods lead grew to four
shots and he was never challenged again.
It looked like Woods might run away with the
title on Saturday when he built a four-shot lead.
But at the 15th, a woman at a nearby conces-
sion stand yelled when an 18-year-old man
reportedly passed out and fell to the ground.
Woods hooked his drive out of bounds.
Woods had grabbed a share of the lead Fri-
day by hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation and
shooting 65, a score bettered only by McDow-
ell’s tournament-best 63.
On Sunday, Woods notched his 72nd tour
title and first since hiring instructor Sean Foley.
When asked what it would mean to tie Jack
Nicklaus for second in all-time Tour victories
at his next start in Augusta, Woods reminded
everyone that majors remain his priority.
“Yeah, well, that’s nice,” Woods said. “But
I’m looking forward to more of the green jacket
part of it than tying Jack, in that regard.”
If the blue blazer is any indication, Tiger’s
broad shoulders could fit snugly into a fifth
jacket of another color.
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