Tiger Woods picked up the 75th win of his career on Monday afternoon, closing out the week at the Farmers Insurance Open at 14-under for a four-shot win. Woods took a two-shot lead at the midpoint on Friday, and extended it to six shots during yesterday's dawn-to-dusk march through the third and start of the fourth round. He entered Monday's finish with that six-shot margin and 11 holes to play, making it academic in his 2013 PGA Tour debut.
It wasn't a smooth walk into the clubhouse for Woods, however, as he carded two bogeys and a double bogey in a four-hole stretch to lop four shots off his lead. Tiger was wild off the tee all day, and things went a little sideways around the green for a stretch on the back side. The outcome was never in doubt, but Woods is someone who will be a bit angered by the lackluster inward nine that led to a final round 75.
But Tiger's work over the first three rounds put him in position to have it in cruise control during Monday's final 11 holes. His short game was amazing, whether it was out of the bunker or with wedge in has hand from 130 yards and in. There were too many darts fired within 10 feet of the flagstick to count, and he repeatedly set himself up for short birdie putts with his wedge game. The precise wedges and some steady driving enabled him to dominant the par-5s and close it out early on Sunday with a majority of the final round still waiting on Monday.
It's his seventh win at this event, pulling it even with the annual stops at Bay Hill and Firestone for the most in his career. Throw in the 2008 U.S. Open, which he also won on a Monday afternoon finish, and that's eight titles on the South Course at Torrey Pines. The finish tempered enthusiasm a bit on a day that started with the potential for a double-digit victory. But after he got the lead to eight, the field was in no position to make a charge and the scuffle into the clubhouse did not matter.
The next appearance for Woods probably won't come until the WGC Match Play event in Arizona at the end of February. On Monday, news surfaced that he would not play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after playing in the former Bing Crosby Clambake last year. Woods has not played in the annual tour stop at Riviera in his hometown, so that leaves his likely next tournament as the Accenture Match Play.
If that's how his schedule is set, it means Woods will have almost a month to enjoy his PGA Tour season-opening win. Historically, when Woods opens his Tour season with a win, it results in a huge multi-win and major-winning year. He's won at least four events in every season after getting a win at the Farmers. With the way his game was in control at Torrey Pines this week, it appears that kind of success could be on the horizon this year for the game's biggest star.
For a final leaderboard from Torrey Pines, visit Golf.com.