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Rediff.com  » Sports » Woods wins Tour Championship and FedExCup

Woods wins Tour Championship and FedExCup

September 17, 2007 14:15 IST
Tiger Woods cruised to a memorable double in record-breaking style on Sunday, winning the Tour Championship by eight shots and inaugural FedExCup honours to claim a $10 million bonus.

Three strokes ahead of the field overnight, the world number one fired a four-under-par 66 in the final event of the FedExCup playoff series to leave his closest challengers trailing in his wake after shrugging off a shaky start.

Woods bogeyed the par-three second but rattled up six birdies and one more bogey with a superb display in receptive conditions at East Lake Golf Club, posting a tournament record total of 23-under 257.

It was his 61st PGA Tour title, his seventh of the year and fourth in just five starts.

His playing partner and good friend Mark Calcavecchia closed with a 71 to share second place at 15 under with U.S. Masters champion Zach Johnson (68).

"It has been a phenomenal week and I played really well today," Woods told reporters after earning a winner's cheque for $1.26 million and a $10 million retirement deposit as the first FedExCup champion.

"I hit a bunch of good shots and felt very comfortable with my game from tee to green. Winning the FedExCup is one thing but as a player you always want to win the Tour Championship. These are basically the hottest 30 players this year."

Johnson, who shot a course-record 60 in Saturday's third round, paid tribute to the dominance of Woods.

"You put pressure on him, he seems to step up his game," he said. "If he's behind you, he moves in front of you. It just doesn't seem to matter. He's unbelievable."

Woods had won 40 times out of 43 on the PGA Tour when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead and a last-day crowd of 25,000 fully expected another victory march by the game's leading player.

They duly got it after an initial wobble.

LEAD TRIMMED

Woods had his lead trimmed to two when Calcavecchia holed a 12-foot birdie putt at the first before both players bogeyed the second.

Woods did well to save par at the third after overshooting the green with his approach and picked up his first shot of the day at the par-three sixth, where he struck his tee shot to two feet.

Thereafter, the world number one barely put a foot wrong.

He set up birdies at the eighth and ninth with precision approach play to reach the turn in 33 and narrowly missed birdie puts at the 10th and 12th.

Woods picked up further shots at the 13th, 14th and 16th before he bogeyed 17 after finding a fairway bunker off the tee.

However, he safely found the heart of the green at the par-three last before two-putting to preserve his eight-shot cushion.

His 72-hole total, which shattered the tournament record by six strokes, equalled the third lowest in PGA Tour history.

Inaugural FedExCup honours were always likely to fall to Woods after he dominated a regular season of points accumulation that culminated in a four-event playoff series.

After winning the BMW Championship in his previous start, he led the standings and only two other players had a realistic chance of claiming the lucrative FedExCup bonus.

Woods's two main rivals, fellow Americans Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson, ended up well short.

Stricker birdied the last for a 67 to finish at six-under 274, one ahead of Mickelson who closed with a 71.

Mark Lamport-Stokes
Source:
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