Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003
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Woods, who carded a two-over-par 72 for his worst round of the tournament by three strokes yesterday, finished on six-under 274 to earn $1,050,000.
Fiji's Vijay Singh, American Tim Herron and Australia's Stuart Appleby tied for second on 276.
David Toms finished alone in fifth another stroke back, while Ireland's Padraig Harrington and South Korea's K.J. Choi shared sixth on 279.
The world number one's 39th PGA Tour win was never in much doubt, but it had its moments.
Starting the final round with a two-shot lead over Singh and a three-shot advantage over Herron, Woods came under pressure from the latter midway through the round when Herron birdied the ninth hole as the leader bogeyed.
After Herron dropped a shot on the 10th, he got within one shot of the lead once more with a birdie on the par-five 12th.
However, a Woods birdie on the same hole and Herron's three-over-par performance over the last six holes gave the winner a comfortable cushion.
"For some reason, I hit the ball pretty good starting out and then I kind of lost it a little bit in the middle of the round," Woods said.
"I didn't really putt well today. I had the speed right, just didn't get the ball on the correct line."
Woods came into the final round with a record of 29 wins in 31 attempts when leading after 54 holes and Sunday's performance did nothing to tarnish that record.
"Today was just about being conservative," Woods said.
"I didn't have to try and shoot a low number today. I knew that if I shot one (over), maybe two at the most, that would get the job done.
"As it turned out, after nine holes, I figured probably even par for the day would win, probably win by one, but it ended up by being more than that."
The victory was also significant for Woods in that he is now level with Gene Sarazen and Tom Watson in ninth place on the PGA Tour's all-time victory list.
He also won for the seventh time in 13 World Golf Championship individual events and won his fifth PGA Tour event in a season for the fifth time.
The victory also propelled Woods to the top of the tour's money earnings list.
All of which now makes him a legitimate contender for Player of the Year honours and the money title.
"If Vijay would have won the tournament it would have been very difficult for me to win the money title as well as Player of the Year," Woods said.
"Right now it still is kind of up for grabs because if Weirsie (Mike Weir), (Jim) Furyk or Vijay win the Tour Championship, they have a chance...or even Davis (Love), so a lot of different things can happen at the last tournament."
The scores: 274: Tiger Woods (U.S.) 67 66 69 72; 276: Stuart Appleby (Aus) 71 68 69 68, Tim Herron (U.S.) 66 72 67 71, Vijay Singh (Fij) 70 70 64 72; 277: David Toms (U.S.) 73 72 67 65; 279: Padraig Harrington (Irl) 71 73 69 66, K.J. Choi (Kor) 67 71 68 73; 281: Paul Casey (GBR) 73 71 66 71, Retief Goosen (RSA) 73 69 67 72; 282: Fred Couples (U.S.) 71 73 70 68, Ignacio Garrido (Esp) 68 71 69 74.
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