Woods wins for charities at AT&T
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2009 AT&T National | Round Four | 06 Jul 2009
Tiger Woods made it PGA Tour win number 68 and worldwide win number 79 when he responded to a brilliant last round challenge by Hunter Mahan to win the AT&T National Championship at the Congressional Country Club.
Mahan had asked some serious questions of the tournament host Woods with a final round of 62 to move him into a share of the lead at about the same time as Woods was taking bogey at the demanding par four 11th. Mahan, who is enjoying a great run of form of late, birdied the last from 12 feet to equal the new course record set on Thursday by Anthony Kim and waited in hope that his effort would be good enough.
Woods parred the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th, missing a genuine chance at the 14th in the process, but at the par five 16th he holed a 20 footer for birdie to break clear. Rock solid pars at the 17th and 18th saw him win a title which clearly means a lot to him.
This event is hosted by Woods and is dedicated to the creation of learning centres for underprivileged children and to those who have served the US in the military. Tiger’s winning cheque for US$1,080,000 goes directly to those charities.
Mahan finished in outright second, three ahead of Kim who struggled in his final round pairing with Woods.
Bryce Molder earned himself a start at Open Championship and further highlighted his progress in 2009 by finishing alone in 4th while Lucas Glover and Brandt Snedeker tied for 5th.
Snedeker and Molder also gained two of the three berths available at this event for the Open Championship. The leading player in the top five in this tournament not otherwise exempt for Turnberry earned a start and Snedeker was that man. Molder and Paul Goydos finished as the leading players not otherwise qualified on a cumulative money list incorporating the five events leading up to and including the AT&T and as a result earned their right to play at Turnberry.
New Zealander Danny Lee finished in a share of 7th position and earnt US$180,000, his biggest cheque in golf. He was headed for something even better before bogeys at the 13th and 14th.
As a result of his top ten finish Lee has become eligible for a start at next week’s John Deere Classic, which won’t count against his maximum number of starts by invite. Lee had initially planned to play the Scottish Open this week.
In his post round press conference when made aware of the fact Lee said, “No, I didn’t actually know that it doesn’t count if I finish Top 10. But I just found out like five seconds ago, and I’m really pumped that I can play in another PGA event and I’m going to have some experience and play with all of the greatest players out there. I think it’s going to be great.”
Stuart Appleby reversed what has been a horror season to date in finishing 16th and the leading Australian. That was only the second top 20 of the season for the Victorian.
Rod Pampling was very much in the thick of things over the first three days but a final round of 75 saw him slip from 5th to 20th. Nick O’Hern, Steve Elkington, Aaron Baddeley and Marc Leishman tied for 25th, James Nitties 40th, John Senden 44th and Nathan Green and Peter Lonard 54th.
The PGA Tour now moves to Silvis in Illinois where they will play the John Deere Classic.