At this rate, Tiger Woods probably can't wait for the 2005 season to start. Woods turned in his most complete round of a difficult year yesterday, missing a mere two fairways and...
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. At this rate, Tiger Woods probably can’t wait for the 2005 season to start.
Woods turned in his most complete round of a difficult year yesterday, missing a mere two fairways and one green in closing with a 5-under-par 66 for a two-shot victory over Padraig Harrington of Ireland in the Target World Challenge.
It was Woods’ second straight stroke-play title after going without one for a season on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career.
Woods won the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour last month by eight shots. The Target World Challenge, an event Woods hosts, doesn’t count as an official victory.
But Woods beat an elite 16-man field with a game that is starting to look vaguely familiar.
“Every shot I wanted to hit, I hit,” Woods said.
The American finished at 16-under 268 and won $1.25 million, which he donated to his foundation.
Harrington, who held off Woods at Sherwood Country Club two years ago, got into contention with a 31 on the front nine, then kept pace until a couple of errant shots cost him on the final three holes.
Harrington hit his approach into a hazard on the par-5 16th, but had a chance to play out toward the green. It went into a bush. He had to knock that out left-handed and wound up with a bogey. After a clutch birdie on the 17th to trail by one shot, Harrington drove into rough so thick he had no chance to reach the 18th green.
Harrington closed with a bogey for a 66, his consolation a $750,000 check.
Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who had a two-shot lead and was trying to win his first stroke-play title in the United States, bogeyed the first hole and never caught up. He shot a 71 and finished at 13-under 271 with Jay Haas (69).
Seattle native Fred Couples (70) tied for eighth at 279, earning $205,000.
Woods was coming off perhaps his worst season on the PGA Tour. The 28-year-old’s lone victory was at the Match Play Championship in February.
South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel captured the Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa, for his first European Tour title, recovering from a poor finish in regulation to win the first playoff hole against England’s Neil Cheetham.
Schwartzel closed with a 1-under 71. Cheetham, the third-round leader, carded a 73, leaving both players at 7-under 281. Schwartzel, who earned $955,000, made a 5-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
Left-hander Richard Green won the Australian Masters in Melbourne, holing a 3-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Greg Chalmers and David McKenzie.
Green closed with a 5-under 67 to match McKenzie (72) and Chalmers (65) at 17-under 271.
India’s Jyoti Randhawa won his first title of the year, capturing the Volvo Masters of Asia by beating Australia’s Terry Pilkadaris on the second playoff hole in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Randhawa closed with a 5-under 67 for a 72-hole total of 274.