Monday, January 28, 2008

Tiger Tames Torrey Pines

For a three hole stretch on Sunday, Tiger Woods actually did look "beatable" as Rory Sabbatini would like to say. After getting to 21-under par and flirting with the tournament record, Tiger uncharacteristically bogeyed three consecutive holes (14 thru 16). But alas, the lead was still seven strokes after his rare misstep. A birdie on 18 sealed the amazing week for Tiger. His 19-under par total of 269 was eight strokes better than Ryudi Imada who closed with a 5-under par 67 to tie for the low round of the day. Sabbatini matched Imada's score to tie for third with Stewart Cink at 9-under par. Phil Mickelson battled a respiratory infection all weekend to finish at 6-under par and tied for sixth. 48-year-old Fred Couples closed with an even par 72 to finish at 5-under and tied for 8th. For "Boom Boom" this week marked a remarkable comeback. Back injuries plaged him all year as he only played three events in 2007. It was his first top 10 finish since the 2006 Masters where he finished third to Mickelson.

There were several highlights to Tiger's final round. A remarkable pitch from behind the green to save a par on the 9th hole - where mere mortals would have been happy to get it to within 15 feet, he stuck it to within a foot and a half. On 11, Tiger was about 65 feet away from the hole with a long curling putt for birdie. From that distance, all you're trying to do is get it close. Well, Tiger read the putt perfectly and as you can probably guess, the ball somehow found the middle of the cup after rolling for nearly 10 seconds. Check out the shot of the day, if you haven't seen it yet. For Tiger it was his fourth straight win of the Buick and his 62nd career win to tie the great Arnold Palmer for fourth on the PGA's all-time list.


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