Tiger Woods started his 2013 PGA Tour season in style on Monday, breezing to a four-stroke victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at cold and windy Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif. He earned $1,098,000.
It was the 75th triumph of his PGA Tour career by Woods, second only to Sam Snead (82). He also became the first player in PGA Tour history to win on the same course eight times. In addition to seven Farmers Insurance Open titles, Tiger also won the 2008 U.S. Open on the South Course at Torrey Pines, which also concluded on a Monday.
"I played great this week," said the 37-year-old Woods, who posted rounds of 68-65-69-72 to finish at 14-under-par 274, four shots ahead of defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater. "Pretty much every facet of my game was going."
With third-round play suspended due to dense fog, part of Sunday's final round carried over to Monday. Tiger resumed play on the par-3 eighth hole with a six-stroke advantage and was never seriously challenged. His lead swelled to eight with five holes remaining, and while he struggled off the tee, some of it can be traced to the pace of play, which was excruciatingly slow from start to finish.
"It got a little ugly towards the end," said Woods, who played the last five holes in 4-over. "I started losing my patience and consequently I made some mistakes."
Tiger is now the only player to win three PGA Tour events seven times, the others being the Arnold Palmer Invitational and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. In each of the previous six times Woods has won the Farmers Insurance Open, he has gone on to capture four or more wins that year.
Tiger also proved again why he is the best frontrunner in golf. He has now won 50 of 54 times when he has led or co-led a PGA Tour event after 54 holes, including four times at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Asked what he was feeling after Monday's victory, Woods said, "Joy. It feels nice to actually walk around here without any discomfort."
When Woods won the U.S. Open in 2008, he did it playing with a broken leg.
On Monday, Tiger was paired with Billy Horschel and Casey Wittenberg. He got off to a solid start, with two-putt pars at the eighth and par-5 ninth holes to make the turn in 3-under 33. He actually caught a bad break at the latter, when his short third shot hit the flag and backed up 20 feet below the cup.
Woods drove into the left fairway bunker at the par-4 10th, but knocked a sand wedge on the green from 128 yards and two-putted for a par. After a long wait at the 213-yard, par-3 11th, he pulled his tee shot into the left greenside bunker and drew a horrible stance. With the ball well below his feet, he could only put his left foot in the sand and was forced to place his right foot just outside the bunker. Tiger hit a brilliant shot that stopped one foot from the hole for a great par-save.
After another good par save at the 472-yard, par-4 12th, where he came up just short of the green with a 5-iron from 205 yards, Woods birdied the par-5 13th. He reached the front of the green in two, then two-putted from about 45 feet.
Tiger lost a shot at the par-4 14th, where his 4-iron approach shot from 198 yards founds the front-left bunker. Woods left his sand shot about 40 feet short of the cup and two-putted for a bogey.
At the 478-yard, par-4 15th, he pulled his drive way left and it caromed off a tree into a lateral hazard. The ball was never found, so Tiger took a drop, incurring a one-stroke penalty, hit his third shot 20 yards short of the green, left his chip 12 feet short of the pin, and two-putted for a double-bogey.
Woods easily two-putted for a par from the front fringe at the 186-yard, par-3 16th hole, but dropped another stroke at the par-4 17th, where popped up his drive and had 230 yards to the green. Tiger ripped a 5-iron but wound up in the right front bunker and failed to get up-and-down.
At the par-5 18th, Woods made a routine two-putt par, then acknowledged the cheering crowd and received a big hug from caddie Joe LaCava. v In the final round, Tiger hit 9 of 18 greens and five of 14 fairways in regulation. v For the week, Woods played the par-3s in 4-under; the par-4s in 2-over; and the par-5s in 12-under.