Woods makes short work at Torrey Pines

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 29, 2013 at 2:51 am •  Published: January 29, 2013
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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tiger Woods never looked so irritated winning a golf tournament so comfortably.

His record eighth victory at Torrey Pines was all but over when Woods ripped a 5-iron from 244 yards over the corner of a bunker and onto the green at the par-5 13th hole, setting up a two-putt birdie that gave him an eight shot lead in the Farmers Insurance Open.

At least he had plenty of time to savor this victory. The final five holes felt like they took forever.

Woods twirled his club on the tee and leaned on it in the fairway as the final round dragged on. He lost rhythm and appeared to lose interest, and it showed. A bogey from the bunker on the 14th. A tee shot that caromed off a eucalyptus tree on the 15th hole that led to double bogey. A tee shot he popped up on the 17th hole that left him 50 yards behind the other players and led to another bogey.

"It got a little ugly at the end," Woods said. "I started losing patience a little bit with the slow play."

No matter. It only affected the margin, not the outcome. Woods had to settle for an even-par 72 that gave him a four-shot win over defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater, who each had a 69.

For a tour that has been criticized for slow play, this wasn't an ideal start to the network portion of its schedule. With Woods virtually a lock to win, CBS Sports wanted the final round to resume Monday later than normal so that it could be televised in late afternoon on the East Coast. Play was so slow that CBS went over its allotted time.

Woods, meanwhile, had the ideal start to his tour season.

Only a week earlier, he missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, in part because of a two-shot penalty assessed after his second round for taking an illegal drop. Woods had never missed the cut on the European Tour, and he had never started his season with the weekend off.

He might have been the only one who didn't panic.

Woods seized control with a 65 on the North Course at Torrey Pines, the spent the rest of the week pulling away from the field until no one could catch him.

"I don't know if anybody would have beaten him this week," said Nick Watney, who got within five shots of Woods when the tournament was still undecided until making three bogeys on his next five holes. "He's definitely on his game."

It's still too early to figure out the state of his game, especially in relation to Rory McIlroy, who also missed the cut in Abu Dhabi.

Torrey Pines is a public course that Woods treats like his private domain. He won the tournament for the seventh time, one short of the PGA Tour record for most wins in a single event. Sam Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times. Woods won for the eighth time at Torrey Pines, including the 2008 U.S. Open, and that's a PGA Tour record that Woods previously shared with ... himself. He also has won seven times at Firestone and Bay Hill.

"I think he wanted to send a message," said Hunter Mahan, who shares a swing coach with Woods. "I think deep down he did. You play some games to try to motivate yourself. There's been so much talk about Rory. Rory is now with Nike. That would be my guess."

And it was his 75th win on the PGA Tour, seven short of the record held by Snead. Woods has won 23 of those tournaments by at least four shots.