Monday, March 11, 2013

Tiger Woods wins 2013 WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral

Entering the final round four strokes ahead, Tiger Woods was almost assured of a victory.  26 previous times has he held a 3 or more stroke lead heading into round 4, and 26 previous times has he won.  And during a week of firsts for Tiger, he didn't want to add this one to the list.

Woods started off the week carding his most birdies through 36 and 54 holes in his PGA Tour career.  He entered the final round with 24 birdies on the card, and added two quick ones on the front nine.  Woods was never really challenged in the final round, holding a five stroke lead through much of the back nine.  A late bogey by Woods and a birdie by Steve Stricker cut the lead to three shots, but a conservative final hole gave Woods the win by 2 shots.

With the win, Tiger Woods becomes the first two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year.  Woods moves into second place in the FedEx Cup standings and closes the gap between himself and Rory McIlroy for #1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.  McIlroy put together solid rounds Saturday and Sunday to move into the top-10.

Stricker fired his fourth round in the 60s to take second place alone at 17-under par, two behind Woods.  Finishing in a tie for third and five shots back of Woods were Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, and Graeme McDowell.  Keegan Bradley finished solo 7th at 12-under par, and wrapping up the top-10 were McIlroy, Justin Rose, Peter Hanson, and last week's winner Michael Thompson, who finished at 10-under par and tied for 8th.

This win is the 76th career victory for Tiger Woods, and his 17th career WGC event.  Woods is now within 6 wins of tying Sam Snead's career PGA Tour win mark.  6 of the 7 times Woods has won multiple events with the WGC Cadillac Championship he has gone on to win a major.  We will see him next at one of his favorite events, the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he has won 7 times.  His next event after that will be The Masters.

The tour moves on to the Tampa Bay Championship presented by Everbank, where Luke Donald will be there to defend his title.

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