Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Tiger triumphs to end drought

26 March 2012, 10:04

Orlando - Tiger Woods snapped the longest winless drought of his career with a dominating five-shot victory over Graeme McDowell at the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday.

It marked the first PGA Tour victory for Woods in 30 months, ending a winless spell that coincided with the personal turmoil that followed a 2009 sex scandal.

"It's not like winning a major championship or anything," Woods said. "But it certainly feels really good."

Woods drained a short par putt on the par-four 18 to complete his round of two-under 70 and post a 13-under 275 total at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge course.

"It was just pure joy," Woods said

The 14-time major winner, wearing his Sunday red and black pants, celebrated his 72nd PGA Tour victory with a fist pump then the customary shaking of hands with runner-up McDowell, who finished at eight-under 280.

"Today was unbelievable. The conditions were rough and those pins," he said.

"I don't know what the average score was today, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near par.

"It was a very tough day. It was a day of attrition. There weren't going to be a lot of birdie opportunities out there."

England's Ian Poulter finished in third seven shots behind Woods, while South Africa's Ernie Els was part of a group of seven golfers who tied for fourth at the $6 million event.

Woods had been on a win drought since revelations of his secret sex life in November of 2009 left his reputation in tatters, put his marriage on the path to divorce and sent sponsors fleeing.

Amid the uproar, Woods' game suffered and his struggles continued in 2011 as he battled to cement swing changes despite injuries that limited his playing time.

"I am thankful for a lot of people helping me out. You all know who you are. It has been tough," Woods said.

Host and golfing icon Palmer missed the end of his tournament after he was taken to the hospital with a blood pressure problem.

It is the custom at this event for Palmer to greet players just off the edge of the 18th green as they finish their rounds but he couldn't do that Sunday. He was also supposed to be part of the trophy presentation to Woods.

"Nobody is overly concerned about the prognosis," said Alaistair Johnston, vice chairman at IMG and Palmer's longtime business manager.

Woods did post a win in December, but that came in the limited-field Chevron World Challenge in southern California, an invitational tournament that he himself organises to provide funds for his charity foundation.

Sunday's official PGA Tour win was the largest margin on the Tour since Rory McIlroy won the 2011 US Open by eight shots.

Now with the Masters just a couple of weeks off, Woods heads to Augusta where he will try to continue his march towards Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors.

"I am excited no doubt," Woods said. "It is always fun to play it. I am looking forward to the momentum I have built here and the things I have worked on with my game. It is all coming together at the right time."

Woods entered the final round with a one-shot lead on McDowell then seized command on Sunday with a flurry of birdies on the front nine.

He compiled a four-shot lead midway through the round by making four birdies on the front.

"It does feel good," Woods said. "It feels really good. A lot of hard work.

"I've gotten better, and that's the main thing. I've been close for a number of tournaments now. And it was just a matter of staying the course and staying patient, keeping working on fine-tuning what we're doing. And here we are."

Woods, who has a formidable record as a frontrunner, is familiar with the Bay Hill course having lived in the area previously. He has a stunning 38-2 record on the PGA Tour when taking an outright lead into the fourth round.

"It was incredible to have that type of support," he said of the friends who came out to watch him this week. "I used to live here for so long."

He was paired in the final group on Sunday with McDowell, who rallied from four shots back to beat Woods in the 2010 Chevron World Challenge.

"I think he really just kind of nailed home his comeback," McDowell said. "Great to have a front-row seat watching maybe the greatest of all time doing what he does best - winning golf tournaments."

Leading scores on Sunday after the final round of the $6 million PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational (USA unless noted, par-72):

275 - Tiger Woods 69-65-71-70

280 - Graeme McDowell (NIR) 72-63-71-74

282 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 71-69-68-74

283 - Bud Cauley 70-73-68-72, Brian Davis (ENG) 70-73-70-70, Ernie Els (RSA) 71-70-67-75, Ryan Moore 71-71-71-70, Kevin Na 73-68-69-73, Johnson Wagner 71-69-69-74, Bubba Watson 69-70-72-72

284 - Jim Furyk 72-72-70-70, Tim Herron 74-71-68-71, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 73-69-71-71, Zach Johnson 71-68-72-73

285 - Jason Dufner 66-69-77-73, Brian Harman 77-69-71-68, Justin Rose (ENG) 69-69-74-73, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 72-74-69-70, Chris Stroud 70-69-72-74

286 - Charles Howell 73-68-68-77, Seung-yul Noh (KOR) 73-73-67-73, Greg Owen (ENG) 73-74-67-72, John Rollins 71-72-71-72

287 - Kevin Chappell 73-69-73-72, Matt Every 73-72-72-70, Phil Mickelson 73-71-71-72, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 71-68-75-73, Jimmy Walker 69-72-76-70

Click HERE for the latest golf odds on BET.CO.ZA
Bet.co.za online Pty Ltd t/a Bet.co.za is licensed by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board. Winners know when to stop. National Responsible Gambling Program 0800 006 008. No under 18's allowed. 

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Angry Kalonzo kicks out 'errant' ...

Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has sacked errant party leaders in Makueni and Machakos Counties over poor leadership. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Bomet Governor Issac Ruto's daugh...

Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto's family is in mourning after the death of his daughter Emmy. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Meet Harry Kimani at the Go down

Harry Kimani is ready and willing to meet you at the Go Down. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Sauti Sol dazzle with Sura Yako r...

Sauti Sol fresh from their MTV awards accolade have hit the ground running with a remix to hit song sura yako. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Eric Omondi does Nigerian and Uga...

Eric Omondi has gone Nigerian and Ugandan. Find out how and why. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Parliament to discuss Kenya Airwa...

Parliament will discuss the conduct of Kenya Airways staff after they refused CORD leader Moses Wetangula entry into a flight to Mombasa. Read more...