After pushing his drive on the 18th hole to the right, Tiger Woods laid up, and came very close to making a 50 foot par putt in wining his eighth Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament on Monday afternoon. Along with the win at Bay Hill Golf and Resort comes the a number one ranking in the OWGR and a lead in FedEx Cup points. His win ties Sam Snead for eight at the same event, but as The King pointed out in a quick interview as Tiger was playing in, Slammin Sammy did it on different golf courses.
Tiger Woods did not have a particularly good day, but it was good enough to capture the win. He continues to struggle at time off of the tee, and puts a lot of pressure on his short game and putter. He was one under par on the day, which started at the third hole, and two under for the round. He missed a birdie opportunity at his first hole today, but made up for it at four. He made the turn at 34, and went even par on the back nine.
Several players made mini runs, and playing partner, Rickie Fowler warmed up at the ninth hole, making his first birdie of the round. Fowler, dressed in his Sunday orange, actually tried to apply some pressure on Woods on the back nine. He rolled in a 20 foot birdie putt on the 12th hole, and for one moment, was within on stroke. Tiger rolled his birdie putt in right on top of Fowlers, and pushed the lead back to two. That was as close as he would ever get.
Rickie began to unravel a bit on the 15th hole. with a bogey five on the par 4 hole, but Tiger also made bogey. The sixteenth hole was where Fowler had the meltdown. His second shot to the short par five came up short, and made the water. When he dropped in the fairway at 80 yards, his ball semi plugged in the soft turf, and he hit that one in the water. When the dust settled, he would make a snowman, and Tiger a birdie.
Woods’ concern at that point was Justin Rose, who was making a mini run, but would end up two strokes back when it was over, and in sole possession of second place.
Fowler had a problem with his irons this week, and pulled too many to the left. It put hi, out of position on the layout near Orlando, where there is a premium on fairway position. He would end up at -8 under par, and in a tie for third place.
Tiger Woods has won three tournaments in 2013, and six in his last 20. That’s a career for some professional golfers. I’ll let you decide if you think he indeed is back.
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