Tiger Takes Bumpy Road to Buick Title


Esteban Toledo put up a challenge, but it wasnt enough to knock off the champion.
Tiger Woods relied on a steadfast putter en route to winning his fourth PGA Tour event of the year at the Buick Open. The victory was the 33rd of his career, and his first coming the week prior to a major championship.
He will now try and become the first player since Lee Trevino, in 1971, to win a regular tour stop and then a major in consecutive weeks.

'You want to feel like you're playing well going into a championship,' said Woods, who will vie for his third career PGA Championship next week. 'And any time you win, you feel good.'
More from Tiger on his win.
After shooting 63 Friday, Woods was shaky over the weekend in Grand Blanc, Mich., posting rounds of 71-70 to end at 17-under-par 271. He finished four clear of Toledo (73), Mark O'Meara (68), Brian Gay (68) and Fred Funk (71).
'I wasn't exactly hitting well the last two days, but I really putted well and when I really had to make putts I was able to make them,' said Woods, who earned $594,000 to surpass $4.6 million for the season.
Toledo, a former professional boxer, bogeyed three of his final five holes to relinquish sole possession of second place. His bogey at the last cost him $138,600 - the difference between outright second ($356,400) and a four-way tie ($217,800).
'I wasn't nervous at all,' Toledo said. 'He's the best player and I tried to put some pressure on him. It just didn't work.'
Woods, who entered the final round with a one-stroke lead, is now 25 for 27 in converting 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour into victory.
Sunday, he immediately extended his overnight advantage by birdieing the par-5 first. After making double-bogey out of the gates Saturday, Woods took a cautious route in round four. He teed off with a 2-iron and played a 3-wood into the right front bunker ' he went out of bounds left in round three ' and got up and down for a 4.
Toledo parred his first three holes before sinking a 15-footer for birdie at the fourth to get back within one. One hole later the two were tied, as Woods made bogey out of the sand.
Following a lazy approach shot at the par-4 sixth, Tiger regained the lead for good by rolling home a 40-footer for birdie.
The lead was still one when the final twosome reached the 181-yard, par-3 11th. Woods finally straightened out his swing, lifting a 7-iron gently over the right greenside bunker and to within a foot of the cup.
The tap-in birdie moved him to minus 18. He then powered a drive on the short par-4 12th, and pitched to three feet for what appeared to be another gimme. It wasnt. Tiger power-lipped his birdie effort and made par. Toledo, on the other hand, made a two-footer to again climb within a stroke.
At the par-5 13th, Toledo seemed to have Woods on the ropes. He split the fairway off the tee, while Tigers drive finished on a tree root.
However, Toledo inexplicably pulled his second shot into the left gallery. With a bunker impeding the green and water behind it, he then skulled his pitch. The ball raced off the putting surface and into the hazard. He eventually made bogey.
Woods, meanwhile, recovered and dropped in an eight-footer for birdie for a two-shot swing.
'I had to birdie 13, but I pulled it,' Toledo said. 'That was the key to the tournament.'
Confidence shaken, Toledo bogeyed 14, 15 and 18.
Woods didnt fare much better coming home. He parred the par-5 16th for the first time all week, and then made double-bogey at the par-3 17th.
'I won this tournament two ways. The first two days, I hit the ball great, and in the last two rounds, I made every putt I looked at,' he said. 'If I can combine those two things, I'll be in great shape for next week.'
Final results from the Buick Open