When Tiger Woods won the Australian Masters on Sunday, he played perhaps his best round of golf this season. While that may be a strong statement given that the world number one has already won six times on the PGA Tour, his final round really highlighted just how far ahead of the rest of the golfing world he is as he treated the road-like Australian greens with contempt and showed how to control the golf-ball on the rock-hard surfaces.
His first trip to Australia in eleven years resulted in a victory in front of record galleries at Kingston Heath as Woods fired a closing round of 69 to win by two shots over Greg Chalmers. It was his first victory in Australia and meant the world number one player has won tournaments in every continent in the world except for Antartica, where unsurprisingly golf hasn’t really gotten a foothold there as yet!
However, few would bet against Woods completing a full house should golf ever come to those frozen wastes.
Woods’ official tournament record stands at 82 tournament wins spread across 13 countries, and although he failed to add to his majors haul, he had already recorded six PGA Tour victories prior appearing in Australia where he was paid $3million to compete. It appears money well spent in terms of revenue as the Australian government estimate having Woods compete generated some $20million, thus vindicating the decision to fork out the huge fee.
Every day was a sell-out with gates of 25,000 on each of the four days. Crowds in such numbers are usually only reserved for major tournaments and the Ryder Cup but the Australian golf collective turned out in force to witness the genius that is Tiger Woods. As he donned his Yellow winners jacket – no doubt he’d have preferred a Green one – Tiger declared his goal was to win.
“That was the goal this week,” said Woods, who finished at 14-under 274. “I’m very thankful to have a chance to play in front of great people and put together some good rounds.”
It could have different, given Woods’ erratic third round which made the final day something of a spectacle. Not for the first time this season, Woods had looked shaky over the final 18 holes and there would have been some doubts among both the crowd and Woods himself as to which Tiger Woods would take to the 1st tee on Sunday.
The answer to that was easy. The world number one turned up and he was on top of his game as he ripped his way to three birdies in the opening six holes. A lone bogey came on the 13th, thanks in large to an over-zealous photographer which threatened to derail the Woods charge and he rushed the 14th although managed to make par. The disruption had, however, allowed Chalmers to keep tabs on Woods where Woods would otherwise might have expected to hold a sizeable cushion at the head of the pack.
But, composing himself on the 15th, Woods ran home in level-par while Chalmers couldn’t find the birdies he needed to close the gap.
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