Five years later, Tiger Woods will need another Monday finish to close out a victory at Torrey Pines.
This time, however, there shouldn’t be nearly as much drama.
In position to win at one of his favorite venues for the first time since the 2008 U.S. Open – and the eighth as a pro – Woods will carry a six-shot lead into his final 11 holes of the Farmers Insurance Open on Monday. Play was suspended because of darkness Sunday night with none of the remaining 87 players having completed all four rounds.
No matter. The final day is a mere formality.
“It was a successful day,” Woods told Golf Channel afterward. “I built upon the lead and we still have tomorrow.”
After a shaky start to his round, Woods holed a 15-footer for birdie on the par-3 third, then chipped in on the next hole after bending a punch shot underneath a tree, pushing his lead back to five. He tacked on a birdie at the par-5 sixth and was at 17 under par when play was suspended.
“I have to go out and execute tomorrow,” he said. “I know where all the pins are, so at least I’ll have a good game plan going in.”
A victory at Torrey Pines has almost always signaled a huge year for Woods. In the six seasons that he has won this event in the past, he has gone on to win a major in five of them, and never failed to win at least four times overall.
His missed cut a week ago in Abu Dhabi? All but forgotten.
One of the only uncertainties now is whether Woods will break his own tournament record for largest margin of victory – eight strokes, set in 2008.