Tiger revels in regal procession

World No 1 pushes all-comers aside in romping to an almost unassailable six-shot lead as the Ryder Cup catches up with European heroes and rest of the field are left looking highly unamused

Queen Victoria was wont to spend her weekends at the Watford stately home that is now The Grove golfing complex and the old girl would undoubtedly have approved of the actions of the head of sporting royalty here yesterday. Anyone dares challenge your authority, look like you're not amused. And if they continue to? Off to Australia with them.

That is where Adam Scott will likely be sent back to today as he attempts to stop Tiger Woods's latest restatement of his majesty. Yesterday, the young man from Adelaide was one of the brave souls who tried in vain to cut into the world No 1's overnight lead in the Amex World Championship tournament here and, indeed, he was the one who fared best of all.

But at the end of a day that had at last threatened to make this World Golf Championship event competitive, Tiger had - incredibly - extended his advantage to six shots at 19 under par. And that adds up to one thing - tournament over. Just like everyone had already said it was on Friday evening. Will we never learn? Tiger loses leads like Gary Player lost golf balls - never.

It had all seemed so possible, though, just a few hours before Woods so tellingly eagled the final hole for the third time in as many days. As his putting spikes rocked under him in the early part of the day, his eventual score of 67 looked beyond him and at one stage, the Englishman David Howell thrilled the home support by getting to within two shots of the uncatchable. But all Howell was doing in fact, was chasing a rainbow. Irresistible perhaps. But futile most definitely.

Which is not to decry Howell, or indeed Padraig Harrington and Henrik Stenson. While the rest of Ian Woosnam's K Club Ryder Cup heroes have flailed around here this week, like boxers the morning after a 15-rounder, these three have stayed resolutely upright and all deserve a continuation of the applause which deafened Co Kildare last weekend.

Howell, for one, has been determination personified as he has played through the pain of a bad neck to make himself the new favourite for the European Tour's Order of Merit title. A top-four placing today will leapfrog him above Paul Casey at the top of the money list, although after 10 holes yesterday he must have been looking even higher than that.

For when Woods - whisper it - three-putted the eighth from 35 feet for just his second bogey of the tournament, Howell's three birdies had taken him to 12 under and within a couple of shots. But then Howell bowed to his exhaustion, Scott finished strongly for his day's best 65 and the stage was left for Woods to blow it or extend it. The latter was inevitable as he soon as he came to the last four to the good.

There is something about this 18th that suits Woods's eye; and when an eye roves the fairways with as much intent as this one does that is some statement. On Thursday and Friday, he had dissected the fairway with his drive but this time was in the rough and surely out of reach. A five-wood swished through the thick stuff soon disabused us all of that notion and when the ball rolled inexorably on to the cut stuff, the 33 feet it had left to the hole took on almost tap-in status. Nobody, nowhere, has ever eagled the same hole in all four days of competition but that is just one of the records he will be chasing today.

The most obvious one will be to lengthen his winning streak in strokeplay events to six. In the week of the death of the greatest streak golfer of all - Byron Nelson who won 11 times in succession in 1945 - that would be apt just as it would be to do it seven days after his ability to play in a team was again brought into question. His individual statistics rarely enjoy so much scrutiny, despite making stupendous reading.

If - when - he wins today this will be his fifth Amex World Golf Championship title in seven years and his 10th individual WGC title out of the 15 he has entered. Furthermore, he has not lost an outright lead he has held after three rounds in five years. As Scott said wryly: "Anyone who beats Tiger from behind is obviously a bit of legend."

When told that his odds were now 1-125, Tiger agreed it might still be a good bet, although he reiterated that he is not really that obsessed with breaking his own WGC low mark of 25 under.

Instead, after sorting out his putting woes in a half-hour session on the practice green immediately following his round - and what other golfer would do that when six clear? - he reflected on yet another day when he overcame everything that was thrown at him. "To putt as badly as I did today and still be able to extend my lead was huge," he said. It was also, almost certainly, decisive.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific