Woods clinches Arnold Palmer Invitational win

Updated: 17 March 2008 14:51 IST

Tiger Woods produced a superb 24-foot putt for a dramatic birdie on the final hole to claim his ninth win in 10 tournaments at the Arnold Palmer Invitation


Tiger Woods rolled in a 24-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to capture the Arnold Palmer Invitational, extending his USPGA Tour win streak to five-consecutive tournaments.

The 13-time major winner fired a final round four-under 66 to reach 10-under 270 overall and beat fellow American Bart Bryant by one stroke at the Bay Hill course.

Woods' won in dynamic fashion, sinking his first putt of the tournament over 20 feet after missing the previous 21 from 20 feet or longer.

As he watched the ball near the cup, Woods back peddled six steps and then slammed his cap to the ground and pumped his fist in celebration.

"I don't know how I did that," said Woods, who earned 1.04 million dollars in prize money. "I was just trying to get good speed and it went in."

Despite starting the day tied for the lead among one of the most crowded 36-hole leaderboards on the Tour in recent years, Woods was considered the one to beat on Sunday.

Woods has now won five straight and eight of his last nine worldwide Tour events.

Woods also captured his 64th career crown to match the late Ben Hogan for third on the all-time win list.

Sam Snead leads the all-time PGA win list with 82 titles with Jack Nicklaus second on 73.

"It is amazing to be in that company," Woods said. "I hope it continues."

Woods, who started Sunday in a five-way tie for the lead, left his 167 yard approach over the water on the 18th hole to the left of the flag. He then needed to sink the long downhill putt to avoid a playoff with Bryant.

Bryant carded 67 to finish alone in second place, with Fijian-Indian Vijay Singh, Cliff Kresge and Sean O'Hair tied for third at seven-under.

"I was pretty hopeless sitting there in the trailer, but I did what I thought I was supposed to do, which was put the pressure back on Tiger to make the play. He has a habit of making it when he needs to," Bryant said.

Woods has won six straight times worldwide, counting the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic which he won earlier this year.

Only two players other than Woods have won at least six consecutive times on the PGA Tour - Byron Nelson (11) and Ben Hogan (six).

"Out here on tour, we understand what he's doing, the magnitude of it," Bryant said. "I think the golf public in general doesn't get it, to be honest with you.

"It's just incredible. What he did today is another piece of evidence of this weird zone he's in, and he's been in like his whole life. I don't know how to explain it."

Bryant, who was playing ahead of Woods, had a feeling he would come up just short. After paring the last to remain tied for the lead, he could only wait and watch the world number one roll in a long downhill putt for victory.

"It didn't surprise me one bit," said Bryant. "What are you going to do? It was in his hands and he obviously hit a great putt."

Topics : Golf
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