Win lifts Woods above Palmer in all-time standings
Monday 25 February 2008
Tiger Woods gained his sixth victory in a row when he blew away Stewart Cink by a record margin in the final of the Accenture Match Play Championship here yesterday. Woods quickly dominated his fellow American in the 36-hole final, and never looked back as he posted a crushing 8 & 7 victory at Dove Mountain.
It was the largest winning margin in the final of the event, beating the 6 & 5 victory by David Toms in 2005. It was Woods' third victory in this event, and his 15th in 26 starts in the three tournaments that comprise the World Golf Championships. Woods has won seven of his past eight official starts worldwide stretching back to last August – his only defeat a second-placing in Boston in September.
Yesterday he did not make a bogey until the 18th hole, where he plugged his second shot in a greenside bunker. But even that was not costly, as Cink, usually the most reliable of putters, missed a seven-footer that would have given him the hole.
Earlier, Woods wasted little time asserting his authority, halving the par-five first hole with a par, before winning the second with a birdie, rolling in a 20-foot putt. Two more quick birdies, followed by a Cink bogey at the par-three eighth, left Woods 4-up at the turn.
If Cink hoped for an unlikely comeback over the second 18 holes, a Woods birdie at the par-four second soon dashed any optimism. Cink, who for all his talent has just four PGA Tour victories, admitted on Saturday that he is an "under-achiever", and few would dispute it after the way the 22nd seed played.
In claiming his 63rd PGA Tour title, Woods edged ahead of Arnold Palmer into fourth place in the all-time standings. Only Sam Snead (82), Jack Nicklaus (73) and Ben Hogan (64) have won more. "I can't wait to see Arnie," said Woods, flashing his trademark smile. "Just to be mentioned in the same breath as Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan, you know you've had a pretty good career."
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