Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tiger Sinks Cink for #64!

PGA tour player J.B. Holmes was thisclose to earning himself the nickname "Dragonslayer" in a short span of 18 days. On February 3rd, he birdied the 18th hole and the first playoff hole to down the world's #2 player, Phil Mickelson in the FBR Open. In Wednesday's first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship, Holmes had the world's #1 player, Tiger Woods on the ropes. The 64th ranked player in the field was up on Tiger by three holes with five to play. Somehow, the Tiger wriggled free with a birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle sequence to turn the tables and move forward. So close, yet so far away... Holmes has to continue to settle for the name "Philslayer,"... somehow that just doesn't have the same ring to it as "Dragonslayer."

Tiger made it through that trial and a couple of other close calls to get into today's 36 hole final match against his good friend, Stuart Cink. Not surprisingly, Tiger displayed his typical Sunday closer form, blitzing Cink with birdies early and often. Both players birdied the first hole... and that was as close as the match would be. Tiger birdied five of the next 10 holes to take a commanding 5-up lead through 11. Cink did manage to briefly make it a match again, trimming the Tiger lead to 3-up as he birdied 12 and 16, while Tiger was in the midst of making five straight pars. Birdies by Tiger on the 17th and 20th holes quickly extended the lead back to a 5-up advantage. After both players bogeyed the par-5 fifth (23rd) hole, Tiger effectively closed out with birdies on the 24th, 25th and 26th holes. Cink did manage to have a lone highlight, curling in a long 40-foot eagle putt on the 28th hole, doing a mock "Tiger pump" in celebration. Tiger had a putt of the same length and nearly holed it as well. The match ended on the next hole as Tiger stuck his approach shot to within two feet of the pin (the birdie putt was conceded), while Cink missed his birdie putt from about 12 feet.

The win was the 64th of Tiger's career putting him in sole possession of the fourth spot on the all-time list. He's as beatable as ever, isn't he Rory? Doesn't it seem like since the infamous Sabbatini comment that Tiger has become more UNBEATABLE than ever? Tiger certainly didn't need anyone to rile him up, but it appears that's exactly what has happened and this had just made things even worse for the rest of the touring players.


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