Bob Burns became the 16th player to win his first PGA Tour event this year at the Disney World Golf Classic here yesterday, although he distinguished himself in one significant way. None of the other first-time winners had to hold off Tiger Woods.
Playing with the poise of a proven winner, Burns made consecutive birdies on the back nine to seize control, closing with a seven-under-par 65 for a one-stroke win over Chris DiMarco.
Woods, trying to stage his greatest final-round comeback on the PGA Tour, made up a six-stroke deficit over 10 holes and finished with a 63. He missed a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole that ended his chances. He finished third, two strokes behind. It was the second time in three years at Disney that Woods has finished at 23-under 265 and had only a third-place finish to show for it.
Burns came to the event with hopes of having a good enough week to finish in the top 125 on the money list and keep his card. He was 118th, but that is no longer a problem. Burns, who finished at 25-under-par 263, won £420,000 and a two-year exemption on the Tour. "I was pretty nervous until hitting my tee shot on 17," he said. "Once I got over the water, I thought I could get it to the house."
Woods watched Burns play the 15th hole – another par – from the ABC television booth, then came out to the putting green and sat in a plastic lawn chair to watch the final few holes on the big screen TV. "This is the tournament here," Woods said as he watched Burns tee off on No 17. As Burns' tee shot easily cleared the water and trees on the dogleg left, Woods grinned watching him bend over to snatch his tee from the ground. "Oh, he pured it. Good for him," Woods said.
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