CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Tiger Woods made it sound
so simple, even after making it look so hard.
“It all boils down to what my dad always told me when it
comes to match play,” Woods said. “All you have to do
is just be better than your opponent that day. All you have to do
is win more holes than you lose.”
When he tapped in a 4-foot par putt on the 34th hole yesterday,
Woods proved again that he has no match.
Spraying his tee shots all over La Costa Resort, unable to take
the lead until the 25th hole, Woods turned a terrible tee shot into
an unlikely birdie, then roared past putt-starved Davis Love III to
win the Match Play Championship for the second straight year.
“He’s obviously the best at what he does,”
said Love, who failed to win a hole over the final 17. “That
shows even more in match play. He can play the game no matter what
rules you put out there.”
Woods won for the 40th time on the PGA Tour in just his 149th
start, the quickest anyone has reached that milestone. Jack
Nicklaus played 221 events before he won his 40th tournament.
Woods earned $1.2 million, the biggest prize to date on the PGA
Tour, and reminded everyone who’s No. 1 in the world —
and who’s the best when the world gets together.
He won for the eighth time in the 14 official World Golf
Championships he has played.
Even more impressive are his back-to-back victories in the
Accenture Match Play Championship, the most unpredictable format in
golf because of the five 18-hole matches required to get to the
Woods thrives on this format.
“Right from the first tee, it’s
eyeball-to-eyeball,” he said. “That to me is a great
His amateur record was among the best ever: three straight U.S.
Junior Amateurs, followed by three straight U.S. Amateur titles.
His professional record is starting to catch up.
Woods is 20-3 in this tournament, and 30-5-1 overall in match
He has won 12 straight matches in this fickle format. Perhaps
even more amazing, Woods has reached the finals three of the last
He wasn’t as dominant as last year, when Woods needed only
112 holes over five days to win. Had it been stroke play, he said
he probably would have won by a lot.
And if this week had been stroke play?
“I wouldn’t have won,” Woods said.
He wasn’t at his best. But in this format, no one is