Woods won last years edition in dramatic fashion, holing his second shot at the 13th for an eagle-2 Sunday. He went on to shoot 66 and finish at 22-under-par 266, a full four strokes clear of Michael Campbell.
Woods would be vying for his fourth consecutive Deutsche Bank trophy were it not for Lee Westwood. Tiger won the title in 1999, but was ousted by the Englishman in 2000.
Tailing by two shots as the final round began, Westwood scorched the Gut Kaden layout with an 8-under 64 to surpass his American rival. Woods shot 70 that Sunday to finish in a tie for third. It marked just the second time in Tigers career that he had blown a 54-hole lead. In fact, Woods is an unfathomable 27-for-31 around the world in converting final-round leads into victories.
For Westwood, it was a return of favor, as he won the 1998 Deutsche Bank at Gut Kaden, only to be denied a repeat victory by Woods at St. Leon Rot.
Tiger started the final round a year ago trailing Eduardo Romero by one. The hefty Argentine faltered with a 77, leaving Woods and Campbell to battle for the title.
Campbell opened in 10-under 62, and led by six through 36 holes. But thanks to his third-round 73, and Tigers Saturday 63, the two were tied for second place entering the final 18 holes.
The two were again tied ' this time for the lead ' through 12 holes Sunday, when Woods decided to switch clubs on the par-4 13th. He opted for the 7-iron, and 175 yards later, his ball disappeared into the cup for a lead his would never relinquish.
Once again, 10 of the 12 European Ryder Cuppers will be in attendance. Captains picks Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik are absent.
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Also competing are Retief Goosen, who finished runner-up to Woods in 99, John Daly, Adam Scott, Campbell, Paul Casey and Justin Rose.
This event was first contested in 1977. Winners include Bernard Gallacher (1980), Nick Faldo (1982), Bernhard Langer (1983, 95), Ian Woosnam (1986) and Colin Montgomerie (1989).
Yet despite the pedigree of past champions, no one has ever successfully defended his title.
Full field and tee times for the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open