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Woods notches 50th career title

August 07, 2006 12:10 IST

Tiger Woods withstood a late challenge from Jim Furyk to secure his 50th career title at the Buick Open on Sunday.

Fresh from his British Open victory, Woods made it back-to-back wins after carding his fourth consecutive round of 66 to finish three shots clear of Furyk with a total of 24-under 264.

The world number one's fourth win of the season and second Buick title made him the youngest player to notch career PGA Tour victories. He eclipsed Jack Nicklaus, who did not celebrate his 50th success until he was 33.

"It's pretty cool to get to 50," the 30-year-old Woods told reporters after achieving the mark in his 196th event. "I've been blessed and had a lot of things go my way."

"You enter a golf tournament to win. There's no reason to enter if that's not the belief that you have.

"I came here to win a golf tournament. I was in the golf tournament. Hence, I came here to win it. "I was fortunate enough to get it done.

"There's plenty of times when it does not happen, but you know, your intention should be to win the championship."

Having captured 36-of-39 events when leading after three rounds, Woods's milestone win was not without drama at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.

Furyk mounted a back-nine challenge with birdies on five of six holes from the 10th on the way to a bogey-free eight-under 64.

Woods began the day with two-shot cushion and maintained his advantage with a flawless front nine that included four birdies to open up a three-shot lead.

But three holes later his lead had evaporated under Furyk's charge and his only bogey of the day at the par-four 12th left both players on 21 under.

Woods, however, quickly recovered with a birdie at the 13th after a pinpoint approach left him a one-foot tap in.

The 11-times major champion followed up with another birdie on 15 to restore his two-shot lead and survived a scare on the par-three 17th when a spectator rolled an apple across the green as he attempted a long birdie putt.

With fans chanting "throw him out, throw him out," Woods would not be distracted, stepping up to the ball and draining a nervy four-footer for par.

MILESTONE WIN

Tiger WoodsWoods then carried his focus to the 18th, capping off his milestone win with a 10-foot birdie putt.

Woods became just the seventh player to win 50 career PGA Tour titles and remains a perfect 21-for-21 when leading by more than one shot entering the final round of a tournament.

While Woods's main focus has been eclipsing Nicklaus record of 18 majors, he can also now set his sights on Sam Snead's mark of 82 career titles. Nicklaus is second on the all-time list with 73 followed by Ben Hogan with 64 and Arnold Palmer on 62.

"It's an amazing accomplishment," Furyk said. "He obviously has a knack of being able to finish off golf tournaments.

"He puts himself in position a lot, and when he gets there, more often than not, he ends up winning the golf tournament.

"It's difficult to do. We haven't seen an equal of that in the last, I don't know how many years. Definitely my era hasn't seen it.

"He's a tough guy. He's the guy to go out there and beat and it's exciting for me to go out or for the other players to go out and try to apply some pressure.

"You want to be trying to beat the best, and it's just very difficult.

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