Lucky No 13 Tiger Wins Another WGC Title

By Sports NetworkMarch 25, 2007, 4:00 pm
2007 WGC CA ChampionshipMIAMI -- Tiger Woods said he would like to be peaking by the start of the Masters in two weeks.
In his last tournament before Augusta, he showed that he is.
The world's No. 1 golfer held on for his 13th World Golf Championship title on Sunday, shooting a 1-over 73 in the final round to win in the CA Championship by two strokes.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has won this tournament six times in eight years. (WireImage)
Brett Wetterich made it interesting with a pair of late birdies, but a closing bogey by Woods at Doral's tough 18th only served to trim his final margin.
'It was not easy today,' said Woods, who won $1.35 million for his second victory of the season. 'The wind was a little bit blustery and I had a hard time making putts. It was a struggle.'
Virtually indestructible with a 54-hole lead, Woods was ahead by four shots overnight. It looked for a while like all the drama would involve the battle for second place...until Woods started making bogeys on the back nine.
He put five bogeys on his scorecard Sunday, more than his other three rounds combined but leaps and bounds better than his disastrous finish at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Woods finished at 10-under-par 278.
'It was kind of easy for him until those last few holes when he had to think maybe just a little bit,' Wetterich said.
Wetterich closed with a 1-under 71 to finish alone in second place at 8-under 280. A year ago this week he was playing on the Nationwide Tour, but Sunday Wetterich joined a select group of people.
Those who have outplayed Woods in a final round.
'It's tough, because you know he's not going to go out there and make mistakes,' said Wetterich, who won last year's Byron Nelson Championship. 'You have to try to force him to hit the shots.'
Reigning U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy (70) shared third place with Sergio Garcia (70) and Robert Allenby (67) at 6-under 282. Niclas Fasth (71), Aaron Baddeley (72) and Nick O'Hern (73) were a shot further back at 283.
Woods wasn't just playing the role of favorite this week. He was as close to a shoo-in as is possible in the world of golf.
Though it's not quite death and taxes, Woods did have the unique honor this week of being a dual defending champion, having won the last two events held at Doral (the Ford Championship) while also claming this tournament five of the first seven times it was held.
Now he's 6-for-8.
There's more, too, and the numbers are well-known to everyone in golf.
Woods is now 31-1 with a 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR -- that's 31 of his 56 career victories that have come, basically, in runaway fashion. He has only lost three times with at least a share of the 54-hole lead since he joined the TOUR in 1996.
And four weeks after he was bounced from the Accenture Match Play by O'Hern to end his PGA TOUR winning streak at seven, Woods gave us this record: He is the first player to win five different PGA TOUR events at least three times in a row.
'I'm pretty pleased,' he said.
Woods let Wetterich creep back in by making bogeys at Nos. 11 and 13, while Wetterich made birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 to climb within three shots. But the door slammed shut when both players missed birdie putts at the 17th.
Woods went to the 18th with his three-shot lead intact -- plenty of cushion, even at a hole which ranked as the third-toughest on the PGA TOUR since hole stats were first kept in 1983.
Wetterich bombed his drive down the fairway, while Woods pulled an iron and laid up.
Their second shots made things interesting, if only for a few minutes: Wetterich stuck his approach to 8 feet, while Woods knocked his to the back of the green, leaving himself with a 52-foot downhill putt for par.
Mark Calcavecchia made a quadruple-bogey from the same position Sunday after his put rolled all the way to the lake.
Woods needed a tough two-putt bogey to win, and he ensured it with a lag that rolled inside 3 feet -- a knee-knocker for some, but just close enough to be a gimme for Woods.
Wetterich missed his birdie try anyway, coming just short on his eight-footer.
'I was pretty patient. I gave myself plenty of chances,' Wetterich said. 'I hung in there and started making birdies in the end, but that's the way it goes.'
Woods wasn't the only top golfer tuning up for the Masters in two weeks.
Ernie Els and Vijay Singh both closed with 74 to share 11th place with three other players at 3-under 285. Phil Mickelson had his best round of the week, a 69, but only tied for 23rd place at even-par 288.
World No. 2 Jim Furyk stumbled to his worst score Sunday, a 6-over 78 that dropped him onto a tie for 35th place at 5-over 293.
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    After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

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