The best golfer on the planet didn’t don his red shirt on Sunday, but he made sure he wasn’t without his signature garb when he finished his final round on Monday. He cruised to a final round 72, and finished the Farmers Insurance Open with a four-stroke victory to start his season.
Torrey Pines has been Woods’ playground throughout his career, and he navigated the course masterfully en route to the 75th PGA Tour victory of his career. His final round wasn’t pretty at times, but the first three rounds should have golf fans excited for the rest of Woods' season.
Woods posted scores of 68, 65 and 69 in his first three rounds, and there was little doubt by the end of Sunday that Woods would be claiming another title at the completion of play on Monday.
After having played impeccable golf throughout the first three-plus rounds, Woods’ six-stroke lead heading into Monday was insurmountable for the rest of the field. He did leave the door slightly ajar at times, though.
Woods hit several errant tee shots on Monday and had to really battle to get up-and-down on multiple occasions. In spite of his masterful play in prior days, that ability to overcome adversity is what should have golf fans really excited.
The struggles Woods has endured in recent years have been well-documented, and at times, it has looked as though he may never be the golfer he once was. Toward the end of last season, he looked more human than ever, and the shimmer of his illustrious career began to fade behind the spotlight of an up-and-coming superstar in Rory McIlroy and established veterans like Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson.
That adversity is in the past. With a strong, confidence-building win at Torrey Pines on Monday, Woods is poised for another big year on the course.
It seemed like every shot Woods hit on Sunday was destined to find the bottom of the cup. He was placing his tee shots with precision and power, and did not struggle on the greens, either. His complete performance was what we have come to expect from perhaps the greatest golfer in the history of the sport.
Fans shouldn’t expect Woods to dominate every event in which he plays this season, but he showed the ability to do so at the Farmers Insurance Open. If there’s anything that should have his fellow golfers worried this year, it’s the confidence with which Woods played throughout the entire tournament.
With an early victory in his pocket, the 2013 season seems destined to be another great year for Woods. According to ESPN, he has an impressive track record when he wins the Farmers Insurance Open:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Tiger Woods has won the Farmers Insurance Open 6 previous times. In 5 of those years he went on to win at least one major tournament.1/28/2013, 10:01:25 PM
At this point in his career, major tournament wins are what matter most, though. He has won 14 dating back to 1997, but Woods has failed to win a major tournament since 2008 at the U.S. Open. With four to win before tying Jack Nicklaus atop the all-time list, it’s time for the 37-year-old to start pushing ahead in pursuit of the record.
Woods has been inconsistent in recent years, but with the performance he put together at Torrey Pines, it appears as though all of that is in the past. Woods is back in top form, and with a ton of confidence and a much-improved swing, don’t expect to see that change this season.