Tiger Woods yesterday used a final-round 69 to win for the 57th time on the PGA Tour, holding off Steve Stricker and a star-studded field to win the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Club, in Charlotte, N.C.
Woods, who finished the tournament at 13-under and took home a winner's paycheck of $1.13 million, said his putter was a main reason for his success.
"I didn't really have my best stuff, but as I said, I putted great. I made just a bunch of putts," Woods told reporters after the final round. "You know, most of those putts were made -- most of those big par putts, as I always say, to keep the round going. I made the majority of those par putts, and sprinkle in a couple bombs from 20 or 30 feet."
Woods survived what could have been a disastrous double bogey on Hole No. 13 to earn his third victory of the season, and his ninth in his last 12 starts.
"I figured I just let so many guys back in the tournament, gave them a shot of momentum, and I tried to get it right back on the next hole and I didn't do it," said Woods. "But at least I birdied 15 and found out that I had the lead going to 16, 17 and 18, and that's all I wanted to do was have that lead going to the last three holes. Somehow suck it up and play them even par, and I'd win the tournament."
Rory Sabbatini, who had the lead heading into the final round, fell off the pace with a 74, finishing tied for third at nine-under, along with Phil Mickelson. Upstart rookie Anthony Kim continued his torrid play, as he finished in fifth place - his fourth Top-10 finish of the 2007 campaign thus far. Early leader Vijay Singh fell off the pace to finish with a final-round 74 and a tie for seventh place.
Sabbatini, who was anxious to play against Woods in Wachovia's final pairing on Sunday, said he just couldn't keep up.
"He got the job done today, I didn't. You know, I think just slight changes, a few putts here and there, it's a major change of the outcome, I think," Sabbatini told reporters. "But, you know, that's not the way it worked today. The way it worked today is, as I said, he got the job done, I didn't. I don't have any regrets about that. I want him every week now."
Mickelson said the Wachovia was a great tournament to prepare for the upcoming Players Championship.
"This is a great event to hold the week before The Players because it's such a challenging setup, such a challenging layout, challenging off the tee. The greens are difficult, they're fast. It really makes a nice stretch. It's close by, and to have these two tournaments, really the upper-echelon events together, makes it great for the players, and we all look forward to that two-week stretch," said Mickelson. "We're all looking forward to getting back to TPC Sawgrass. The clubhouse is done, we're excited to see that. The golf course has been renovated, we're excited to see that, see how it plays, see how the condition is. I think everybody is really looking forward to the tournament."
May 7, 2007
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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