Safe Deposit Tiger Defends Deutsche Bank
Woods got up and down on the third hole of sudden death. The par proved good enough for victory, as Montgomerie's approach shot from a poor lie in a fairway bunker went wet.
Woods became the first man in tournament history to successfully defend his title. The win was his fifth on the European Tour ' not including major championships ' and added another $410,222 to his ever-growing bank account.
Tiger talks about his win
Justin Rose shot 5-under 67 to finish third, at 19-under.
Woods (68) and Montgomerie (69) each finished regulation at 20-under-par 268. Playing only the 443-yard, par-4 18th in the extra session, it took three go-arounds to determine a winner.
Woods made a 10-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to force sudden death. He then lipped out a 12-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole that would have won the tournament.
Both men parred the second extra session, after each missed the green long. Tiger missed chipping in for victory by mere inches.
The third time around, Montgomerie's tee shot landed near the lip in a left fairway bunker. Even with Tiger having again failed to reach the putting surface, Montgomerie went for the green, only to find the water guarding the right-hand side.
Woods chipped to two feet and tapped in for his third Deutsche Bank win (1999).
Showing no signs of intimidation, Montgomerie birdied his first three holes out of the gate Monday. The quick flurry of putting jabs gave the 38-year-old Scot a two-shot lead over his 26-year-old American counterpart. Thats because Woods hit the green in two on the par-5 third, and rolled home the 20-foot eagle putt.
A Montgomerie bogey at the fourth cut the lead to one, where it stayed as both men parred the remaining five holes on the outward half.
Woods tied for the top spot by sticking his approach on the par-4 10th to eight feet and converting the birdie.
Both men birdied the par-5 12th. Tigers second shot went just beyond the putting surface. He chipped three feet past, but made the comebacker to get to 20-under. Montgomerie took the safer route, laying up and sticking his third to four feet.
Woods took his first lead of the tournament on the next hole. He made par on the 178-yard, par-3 13th, while Colin made bogey. Again playing cautiously, Montgomerie rifled his tee shot well right of the water protecting the left of the green. Some 60 feet from the hole, his lag putt rolled dead six feet short. His par save then gave out on the left edge of the cup.
The one-shot differential stayed intact until the par-4 15th. Woods hit his approach shot 20 feet below the hole, while Montgomerie stuck his inside of that. After Tigers birdie effort stubbornly stayed out, Colin's fell in center-cut from 15 feet.
Woods had a chance to regain outright command at the 16th, only to misjudge a 12-footer. Neither man birdied the par-5 17th, leaving the 18th to determine a winner.
Both Woods and Montgomerie missed the green with their approach shots at 18. Montgomerie pitched nicely to gimme range, as Tiger chipped 10 feet past the hole. But as he so often does, Woods nailed the playoff-forcing putt.
'I just said 'You know what, you've been putting well, just stay committed to it - if it goes in, it goes in, if it doesn't, it doesn't,'' said Woods, who narrowly missed countless putts throughout the final round.
Woods has now won all three times he has played this event at St. Leon-Rot. However, it is undecided as to whether or not he will be back to defend his title again next year. The PGA Tour's Verizon Byron Nelson Classic, in which Tiger annually competes, is scheduled the same week in 2003.
'Heidelberg's been great to me, I'd just love to come back,' he said without giving a definitive answer.
For Montgomerie, the defeat was visibly disappointing, but the performance was nonetheless impressive. With his prime in his past, he more than held his own against the present - and future - of golf.
Even more arresting was the fact that Montgomerie, who was using his new caddie for the first time this week, was battling a bad back. He was on twice-daily painkillers throughout the week, and twice needed on-course treatment in round three to alleviate the pain.
In the circumstances, I am very proud to have gone out there and shot 69 today, Montgomerie said. This morning I was about to pull out. I couldnt play. I was very close when I was on the range.
In the play-off, my back was getting far too sore and thats why I was hooking it. But it was good for the TPC of Europe and it was good for the sponsors. It is good for The European Tour to be broadcast this way and in America on The Golf Channel ' it is good to see our tour in this light.'
Both competitors will next head to very familar, and very prosperous venues.
Montgomerie ventures to Surrey, England for the Volvo PGA Championship - a tournament he won 1998-2000 - where he will try to extend his nine-year winning streak on tour.
Woods will travel back Stateside to compete in the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, where he is the three-time defending champion.
Final results from the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open
McIlroy 'happy to be back', can 'empathize' with Tiger
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – After a long layoff from golf, Rory McIlroy has some newfound sympathy for Tiger Woods.
The 28-year-old Northern Irishman is making a comeback at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after ending his season early last year. He has not played a round since the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Oct. 8.
McIlroy, a four-time major champion who has slipped to No. 11 in the world rankings, last won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour in September 2016. He injured a rib in his first outing of 2017 – at the South African Open – and felt its after-effects throughout the year.
McIlroy, who has seven top-five finishes in his last eight starts in Abu Dhabi, said Tuesday he felt mentally low because of his physical issues.
''Honestly, I was excited to be done. I could have shut it down after the PGA Championship very easily and taken the rest of the year off, but I didn't. I played six events after that, played OK and had a chance to win one of them,'' McIlroy said. ''But I was just excited to take that time off and get myself just sort of a re-set.''
Last week, McIlroy also revealed that he has a minor, non-threatening heart condition that needs regular check-ups.
''After that 3-plus months of a re-set, I'm very happy to be back. I felt like I needed it physically and mentally. I just felt like it was a little bit of a sabbatical. I've been out here for 10 years, and I want to get ready for the next 10.''
McIlroy compared his situation to what Woods has been going through.
''I've only been through, maybe, not even 5 percent of what he's had to go through. And you can tell from where he was to where he is now mentally, because of physically where he is ... he's a totally different person,'' McIlroy said. ''Of course, I empathize with him, and I know he was in a dark place there for a while. It's just so great to see him out of that and back and excited to be playing golf again.''
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back events for McIlroy, who is also playing next week in Dubai.
''I think the next two weeks will be a big learning curve, just to see where I'm at,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm obviously coming into the events trying to play as well as I can and trying to compete and trying to win, but I think there will definitely be things I'll have to work on going into that stretch in the States.''
The tournament, which starts Thursday, has attracted some big names, including top-ranked Dustin Johnson, No. 6 Justin Rose, No. 9 Henrik Stenson, No. 14 Paul Casey and No. 15 Matt Kuchar. No. 18 Tommy Fleetwood is the defending champion.
Pre-tourney caution be damned: Stenson rides camel
If you were under the impression Henrik Stenson's days of engaging in pre-tournament hijinks at HSBC-sponsored events were over, then you don't know the Swedish Superman.
Ahead of this week's HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, the 2016 champion golfer of the year decided to have some fun riding (and pretend-spanking) a camel:
When in the Middle East... pic.twitter.com/lNv1Lh79E0— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) January 16, 2018
If you can't imagine any reason Stenson wouldn't get on a camel, we will point you to the WGC-HSBC Champions back in October, when Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Haotong Li and Hideki Matsuyama took place in this hire-wire act:
Two weeks later, Stenson revealed a rib injury, and a report from the U.K.'s Telegraph stated "that not only was the Shanghai caper to blame, but that Stenson is annoyed about being persuaded to do it in the first place."
Stenson brushed back at that report in this Instagram post, saying that his "comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal."
I’m disappointed to have to pre-emptively withdraw from the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, I was looking forward to this important year-end event on the European Tour. At this point I am back home in Orlando waiting to do a scan on my ribs and get the necessary rest. I am still hoping for a quick recovery and have not ruled out playing in Dubai next week at this point. My comment about not being Superman was a sarcastic way of saying that I am susceptible to injury like any other athlete and sometimes these things happen when you least expect them. I was pleased to help promote the HSBC Champions and to continue my string of success at the event and I was never forced to do anything. HSBC is a great sponsor to golf worldwide and I am not happy to see them being made responsible for my withdrawal. The plan as of now will be to participate in the DP World Championship if my body is back to 100%. H
And it would appear he genuinely meant those comments, at least enough to get on a camel.
Spieth, McIlroy to support Major Champions Invitational
Nick Faldo announced Tuesday the creation of the Major Champions Invitational.
The event, scheduled for March 12-14, is an extension of the Faldo Series and will feature both male and female junior players at Bella Collina in Montverde, Fla.
Jordan Spieth, Rory Mcllroy, Annika Sorenstam, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Jerry Pate and John Daly have already committed to supporting the event, which is aimed at mentoring and inspiring the next generation of players.
“I’m incredibly excited about hosting the Major Champions Invitational, and about the players who have committed to support the event,” Faldo said. “This event will allow major champions to give something back to the game that has given them so much, and hopefully, in time, it will become one of the most elite junior golf events in the world.”
Rosaforte: Woods plays with Obama, gets rave reviews
Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte reports on Tiger Woods’ recent round at The Floridian in Palm City, Fla., alongside President Barack Obama.
Check out the video, as Rosaforte says Woods received rave reviews from instructor Claude Harmon.