Woods wins 5th in a row at Deutsche Bank
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2006 Deutsche Bank Championship | Wrap | 05 Sep 2006
There seems no other way to describe the last round performance of Tiger Woods to win the Deutsche Bank Championship, his fifth PGA Tour title in a row, in Boston this morning than simply sublime.
Starting the day three behind Vijay Singh, Woods was keen to close the gap as quickly as he could in order to put pressure on the leader but, even in his wildest dreams, it is hard to imagine that he would have been thinking of the start that he made.
Despite missing two very makeable birdie chances at the 1st and 4th holes he navigated the first seven holes in six under par and as he stood on the 8th tee he led by two. His eagles from 10 feet at the second hole and from 12 feet at the 7th after a three wood from 264 yards were the result of second shots of the absolute highest quality. An adjustment he had made after talking to his coach Hank Haney overnight seemed to be the answer as he found form on the practice fairway before his round and carried it over onto the course.
That adjustment related to posture issues and it was clear on occasions today that Woods could be seen just prior to takeaway ensuring his head remained in a higher position than perhaps had been the case. This had been a problem prior to the second round of the Western Open and a decision to work on that very issue and eliminate the dropping of the head during his swing had immediate results. It did again today.
Singh was perhaps feeling the strains of the assault Woods was mounting and struggled through the first six holes. It took him until the 7th hole before he hit a quality golf shot that being his third to the that hole to set up his first birdie of the day. By then however he was two behind.
To Singh’s credit he was able to reverse the trend over the closing nine. A bogey at the 9th saw him turn three behind but he started to hit some quality shots on the way in and certainly kept Woods honest on their way to the clubhouse.
Chances that seemed to open up for Singh and the possibility of reducing the margin to just two with four to play came at the 14th and 15th holes. Singh hit his approach to fifteen feet at the 14th and when Woods missed the green left and could only pitch to ten feet it appeared that there may be hope for Singh. Woods had other ideas and holed his putt while Singh was unable to convert. A similar situation developed at the 15th when Singh all but holed his approach and was guaranteed a birdie. This was another chance but Woods again shut the door with his putt from 15 feet to match Singh’s birdie.
When Woods holed from 20 feet at the 17th, the difference was three and just too great for Singh to harbour any hopes of a miracle at the last. Both players hit good shots to the last although Woods four iron just trickled over the back into a difficult lie. Woods finished with par and thus a final round of 63 and a two shot win after Singh had two putted for birdie.
Woods now takes a well earned one week break before heading for the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, followed by the Ryder Cup and then the American Express Championship in England. At the American Express event, Woods will look to add his sixth consecutive PGA Tour event victory to his simply stunning record. If he is able to do that then it might just be that at the Funai Classic, he breaks his own previous best of six consecutive PGA Tour wins. That is however for the future.
Brian Bateman, who had been languishing in 171st place on the money list entering this week but today he ensured he would have a full time job in 2007 with his last round of 66. He has earnings of US$613,000 and while still not yet assured of full status in 2007 he at worst has conditional status and the chance to improve further before the end of this season.
Robert Allenby recovered from his disappointing round three to shoot 68 today and move into a share of fourth with Justin Rose.
The next best of the Australians were Stephen Leaney, who often plays well on the tough golf courses and this week was no exception and Aaron Baddeley who was in the hunt for so much of the week. They finished in a share of seventh place.
Next best was Nathan Green who, by finishing 15th, earned US$93,000 and moved ahead in the race for money list honours amongst the 2006 PGA Tour rookies. He has moved nearly US$80,000 ahead of Camilo Villegas in that category although rookie of the year honours will not be based on money list alone.
Adam Scott was 50th, John Senden 61st and Peter Lonard 76th.
Photo – Anthony Powter