Starting the day with a four stroke lead on one of his favourite courses, world number one Tiger Woods was widely expected to turn the final round of the WGC-CA Championship into something of a procession. Things did not turn out quite like expected in the shape of a stuttering 73 but it was still enough to secure yet another WGC event on a windy afternoon at the Doral Golf Resort.
His three bogeys on the back nine counted for little, however, as the chasing pack could not reel him in. The conditions made scoring very difficult, with the average final round standing at 74, but Woods’ Ryder Cup colleague Brett Wetterich enjoyed one of the better finishes with a 71 to seal second place. It put him at -8, two strokes adrift of the winner.
Wetterich picked up two birdies in the final five holes as Woods stumbled but his slow early progress meant that he could never apply any pressure on the winner. Sergio Garcia’s excellent 70 gave him a share of third place on -6 with Australian duo Robert Allenby and Geoff Ogilvy. England’s Paul Casey fought back well from an opening 76 to clinch a tie for ninth place as he warms up for a tilt at the Masters.
It was the 13th WGC title – referred to as golf’s ‘mini Majors’ – of Woods’ career and his sixth victory in the event. The win is his 56th on the USPGA Tour and it leaves him just six wins behind Arnold Palmer, who is in fourth place on the all-time list of winners.
“We had a hard time reading the greens out there,” he said.
“I had a tough time making any putts and had to grind things out. It wasn’t easy and though I’d like to have played better today I’m happy to have closed things out.”
WGC-CA CHAMPIONSHIP – LEADING SCORES
Doral Golf Resort, Florida
US unless stated
-10 T Woods
– 8 B Wetterich
– 6 S Garcia (Spa), R Allenby (Aus), G Ogilvy (Aus)