Woods is youngest ever to 50 wins
Tiger Woods equaled his score from the first three rounds Sunday
with his fourth six-under 66 and that gave him a three-stroke win
at the Buick Open.
Woods' second title at this event also gave him 50 wins for his
PGA Tour career. At the age of 30, he is the youngest to reach that
plateau and seventh all time to reach the mark.
He has now won 36 of 39 times he has had at least a share of the
54-hole lead. Woods also won this crown in 2002 at Warwick Hills
Country Club and finished Sunday at 24-under-par 264.
"That's pretty cool to get to 50. You never in your wildest
dreams think it would happen," said Woods, who earned $864,000
for the win. "I've been blessed and had a lot of good things
go my way."
Jim Furyk, the 2003 winner here, fired an eight-under 64 to end
alone in second place at 21-under-par 267. He shared the lead after
16 holes, but could only par the final two to end three back. Joe
Durant was one stroke further back at minus-20 after a final-round
Reigning Rookie of the Year Sean O'Hair posted a five-under 67
to end in a tie for fourth at 19-under-par 269. He was joined there
by Vaughn Taylor (68) and Scott Verplank (69).
Woods seemed poised to run away with the crown early on Sunday.
He drained putts of four, 12 and 19 feet as he made three straight
birdies from the third to move to 21-under par and three strokes
clear of the field.
The 30-year-old two-putted for birdie on the par-five seventh to
go three up on Verplank. Woods had birdie putts ranging from 13
to 30 feet on each of the next four holes, but was unable to sink
any of them.
At the short par-four 12th, Woods missed the green left and had
a difficult pitch. He left that chip in the rough for his only missed
green in regulation for the round. Then he ran his third shot 18
feet past the cup. Woods two- putted for bogey to slip to 21-under
par and a share of the lead.
Furyk was playing flawless golf several groups ahead of Woods.
Furyk collected three front-nine birdies to move to 16-under. Around
the turn, he birdied five of the first six holes to join Woods at
Woods spun his third shot to the par-five 13th to one foot and
kicked that in for birdie and a one-stroke lead.
Furyk was unable to put any more pressure on as he parred the final
three holes to close a bogey-free round.
Woods stuck his second shot three feet from the hole on 15 and
rolled in that putt for birdie.
At par-three 17th, where a rowdy crowd gathers yearly, Woods had
over 40 feet for birdie. He missed the putt badly and was lucky
as someone threw an apple across the green as his ball rolled towards
The apple missed Woods' ball and the world's No. 1 player didn't
even flinch at the distraction before calmly sinking his par effort.
At the last, Woods played his second shot 10 feet from the hole
and poured that in for birdie and the win.
Furyk, who was looking for his second crown here, settled for second
for the third time this year. He was trying for his first win since
beating Trevor Immelman in a playoff at the Wachovia Championship
in early May.
"I'm happy with the way I played," Furyk stated. "I
really had it going on the backside. I lipped out a little one on
12, then kept it going on 13 and 14.
"I wish I gave myself a little bit more opportunity 16 through
18 to try to make a putt, but I got a little loose with my swing
and didn't hit it in there as close as I would have like to. Overall,
eight-under for the day I am happy with the round, but I would have
loved to birdie one or two of the last three holes."
Tom Pernice, Jr. fired an eight-under 64 Sunday to move into a
tie for seventh. He ended alongside Woody Austin, Harrison Frazar
and Brett Quigley at 18-under-par 270.
Vijay Singh, who had won this crown each of the last two years,
was one stroke further back at minus-17.
August 7, 2006