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Tiger Woods looks to extend streak at Doral

Fresh from his ninth win in ten tournaments Tiger Woods takes on the rest of the golfing world again at the WCG-CA Championship starting on Thursday.

Woods’s dramatic victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando on Sunday - he won with a 24-foot putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole - extended his winning streak in all tournaments worldwide to seven.

He has five consecutive wins on the PGA Tour and he has not lost an event since he tied for second place at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts in September.

Such incredible statistics raise the question of whether anyone can stop Woods this season, but the American himself is well aware that there are plenty of players out there who are capable of beating him.

Asked after Sunday’s victory who, if anyone, could stop him from continuing his winning streak, Woods replied: “All the players in the event.”

Given that in Orlando it was Bart Bryant, a 45-year-old who went into the Palmer event ranked 137th in the world, who was one shot away from taking Woods into a play-off, Woods’s reply was not as trite as it may sound.

There are, after all, no signs that the rest of the field are about to start settling for second place.

“I don’t think he is going to win every tournament. Golf is such a strong game and there are such deep fields,” said Colombian Camilo Villegas, who two years ago was just one stroke behind Woods at the end of the then Doral Open.

“Is he beatable? Yes, he has the last five but if he wins every tournament this year I guess the rest of us have got to quit but I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said.

Far from being disheartened by Woods’s dominance, Villegas is one of many players who say they are delighted to be playing in what will surely be known as the “Tiger Era’.

‘Tiger is number one, he will continue to be number one but it really is an honor to be playing in Tiger’s era. It is just a great challenge to try and get better and catch up and learn from him.

“I’m sure not only me but all the other players look forward to playing Tiger, to compete against Tiger and to hopefully beat Tiger,” he said.

The field at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa is particularly strong with 49 of the world’s top fifty players present at an event which counts towards the World Championship of Golf.

World number two Phil Mickelson and third-ranked South African Ernie Els are among those hoping to break Woods’s grip on the three World Golf Championship events.

Woods won the WGC-Accenture Match Play event earlier this month and was also victorious at the Bridgestone Invitational in August.

The 32-year-old has won the last three events on the Blue Monster course at Doral—last year’s WGC-CA and the final two years of the Doral Open.

Woods has also won the last three WGC-CA events including 2006 at The Grove in England and 2005 at Harding Park in San Francisco.

The WGC-CA had previously rotated venue until it was given a permanent home at Doral beginning last year.


March 19, 2008

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