At the site of six of his 74 Tour victories—in addition to his last major triumph in the 2008 U.S. Open—Woods fired a third-round 69 to stand at 14-under through 54 holes. That gave him a five-shot lead over Canadian rookie Brad Fritsch.
Now, Woods holds a six-stroke advantage over defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney, sitting at 17-under-par through seven holes in his final round.
A fog delay that postponed play on Saturday and heavy rainfall that resulted in very wet conditions weren’t enough to stop Woods from ultimately taking control of the tournament, which will conclude on Monday.
Woods began Sunday with a two-shot gap over his competitors, but he birdied two of the first three holes to get off to a hot start. By the 14th hole, that margin swelled to six strokes. However, he had never bogeyed No. 18 on the South Course, but that’s how his third round ended.
Two wayward tee shots defined the beginning of the final round for Woods, but he managed to salvage par. After a strong birdie on the par-3 third hole, he chipped in for another birdie at No. 4 from just short of the green.
FOXSports.com's Robert Lusetich provided his thoughts on the breathtaking shot:
That was always birdie ... NOT! Tiger chips in on 4th, any questions?— Robert Lusetich (@RobertLusetich) January 28, 2013
Playing the par 5s well has been a key component to Woods’ reign atop the world of golf over the years. Woods is 11 under for the week on those holes, which is a big reason why he holds such a sizable edge on the rest of the field.
This was clearly a strong return to form for the 14-time major champion. He missed the cut in his 2013 debut last week at the European Tour's event in Abu Dhabi.
Stellar work with the flatstick from that recent disappointment carried over to this tournament, as Woods has posted a 1.543 strokes gained putting average thus far.
Here is a look at some of the best highlights from Tiger's round, courtesy of PGATOUR.com:
Woods birdies the par-5 13th in Round 3:
Woods birdies No. 3 in Round 4 after a solid iron shot into the par-3:
Woods birdies No. 4 in the final round after chipping in:
Check out the top of the leaderboard after Sunday's action in La Jolla, Calif., tracking where all the top players left off in their final round. For complete scores, go to PGA.com.