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Slow play mars Tiger Woods’ crawl to victory at Torrey Pines

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USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods finally won his 75th PGA Tour victory, despite a fog delay, some late-inning miscues, and a pace of play at Torrey Pines that would have had Ben Crane pulling out his hair -- if he had any.

Indeed, the only thing brisk about Monday’s final round of the Farmers Insurance Open was the temperature, with Woods conceding that the slow crawl around one of his favorite courses caused some scratchy play down the stretch on his way to his eighth win at Torrey.

“I started losing my patience out there. It was just so friggin' slow,” Woods said after posting a final-round 3-under 69, which spanned two days (thanks to dense fog wiping out most of Saturday’s play and darkness suspending the proceedings on Sunday) and included four dropped shots over the last five holes. “We played just over three hours and nine holes, and three of them are par-threes.

“It's like, come on, you know,” said Woods, who waited to make every tee and fairway shot. “I started losing my patience a little bit, and that's when I made a few mistakes.”

Despite those errors, which included a pulled tee shot on No. 15, a pop up off the 17th tee, and two bogies and a double coming in, the conclusion was never in doubt as Woods began his final 11 holes on Monday with a six-shot cushion. With his nearest competitors unable to mount any real challenge, Woods got his lead up to eight shots with five to play but saw it dwindle as his group waited on the threesome in front of them.

CBS had planned a late broadcast of Monday’s finale, but the network probably didn’t account for just how late it would be. Play began at 11:10 a.m. local time and came to a merciful close some four hours later.

By the time Eric Compton, Steve Marino, and Brad Fritsch finally cleared the field, the trio had an open par-5 in front of them. The lack of urgency clearly irked Woods, who has in the past called for the tour to impose penalties for dawdling.

"The group ahead of us was behind most of the entire back nine. I don't know if they were warned or not," Woods said. "The three of us were losing our patience a little bit out there. I certainly was. Unfortunately, it affected my play a little bit."