Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tiger Roars, Rory Bails...

For Tiger Woods, Sunday was just another walk in the park so to speak, as he weathered a brief Jim Furyk challenge on the front nine and went on to dominate the tournament and finish with a record-tying score of 22 under par and a seven stroke win over 2007 Master's champion Zach Johnson at the Target World Challenge held at Sherwood Country Club here in Thousand Oaks. The turning point of the round came on the 10th hole as Furyk hit his approach to within about 4 1/2 feet. Furyk had pulled within two shots of Tiger with four birdies on the front nine and with Tiger about 10 feet away for his birdie putt, it looked like Furyk may trim the margin to one. That wasn't in the cards though as Tiger rolled in his birdie and Furyk inexplicably three putted for a bogey. The margin was back to four strokes. Tiger added an exclamation point to his day by draining a 25 foot eagle putt on the 16th hole.

Perhaps the bigger story though was the sudden departure of Rory Sabbatini before the round started. Sabbatini was 10 over par and 28 strokes behind Tiger after three rounds of play. He then informed tour officials that he was withdrawing for "personal reasons." This withdrawel left Brett Wetterlich to play his final 18 holes all by himself, and left the other 14 players perplexed. Fred Couples went as far to say that "Tiger deserves better than that," while others thought that he owed it to Tiger to finish the tournament. Another player probably echoed the sentiments of most in attendance stating, "the fans didn't miss him anyways, they were probably happy he was gone." Never in the nine year history of the tournament had anyone ever withdrawen. Don't look for Sabbatini to be invited back by Tiger anytime soon. After the fiasco he created with his now infamous "he looks beatable" comment, this weekend was a great opportunity for Sabbatini to mend some fences with Tiger and create some positive experiences for those in attendance. It's not really in my nature to root against any particular player, but Rory Sabbatini was a lone exception coming into this weekend due to his brashness... he had an oppotunity this weekend to pick up some "brownie points" in my eyes, but as with everyone else, he miserably failed.


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