PGA GRAND SLAM
Tiger Woods watched his tee shot on No. 4 yesterday in the final round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Woods wins sixth Grand Slam
The reigning Masters and British Open champion shoots a 64 to pull away
POIPU, Kauai » Tiger Woods cemented his status as the king of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf yesterday.
Woods made two eagles, carded an 8-under-par 64 and finished seven shots ahead of runner-up Phil Mickelson to win the Grand Slam for the sixth time in seven appearances at the Poipu Bay Golf Course.
Woods had a two-day total of 13-under 131, which was four short of the tournament record of 127 he shares with Mickelson. He also pocketed the $400,000 first-place check.
The first eagle came at the par-5 sixth hole, when he dropped an uphill 55-foot putt. The second was at the par-5 14th from 12 feet after he crushed his 3-wood approach from 244 yards out.
"The two eagles are more luck than anything else," said Woods, the Masters and British Open champion who took a three-shot lead over Mickelson in Tuesday's first round despite a stomach sickness and a sore ankle. "All of a sudden, at the sixth I dropped the bomb there. I think it hit a house and crashed into the hole and went in. Definitely one of those Arnold Palmer putts where it popped up 6 inches and fell in. On the second one, I hit probably the best 3-wood I've hit all year."
U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell finished third at 1-under 143 after his 2-under 70 yesterday. Vijay Singh, who qualified as an alternate into the tournament of majors winners, went 3-under 69, but took up the rear at even-par 144.
Mickelson stayed as close as three shots behind until the par-3 11th, when he hit into the water to the right of the green and finished with a double bogey. The hole was a three-shot swing in favor of Woods, who stiffed his 6-iron and birdied from 2 feet to move to 9-under with a virtually untouchable six-stroke lead.
"I made a poor swing on 11, but I'm surprised there wasn't more of those in the two days. I'm rusty," said Mickelson, the PGA Championship winner who hadn't played for the last five weeks before arriving here Tuesday.
From there, Woods coasted home. Aside from the eagle on 14, the back nine also included a 15-footer for birdie on the 13th and another birdie on the 18th with a two-putt from 65 feet. Throughout the round, Woods had five birdies and a bogey (when he sliced his drive and tried to scramble, but two-putted from 6 feet) on the par-4 fifth hole to go along with the two eagles.
"Well, it was kind of just a fun, friendly round of golf," said Mickelson, who won $250,000 for his runner-up finish after yesterday's 4-under 68 for a final tally of 6-under 138. "It wasn't much of a competition going on out there. We just enjoyed the day."
Woods doesn't forget his first Grand Slam appearance, a three-shot loss to Ernie Els in 1997, which preceded his string of five straight victories from 1998 to 2002.
"I learned from the first event. I think Ernie just waxed me," Woods said. "Now, I feel comfortable on this golf course. I've played it in different wind conditions, the Kona (winds), the trades. I've played in stroke play. I've played in match play. You play enough times, you get very comfortable here. Most of the holes really suit my eye. For some reason, I've just kind of put it together every time I've come here."
Campbell earned $200,000 for third place and Singh $150,000 for last. Neither could find their putting stroke yesterday.
"Normally, I'm quite good at reading the grain on the greens," Campbell said. "For some reason, I couldn't really read these greens. It cost me a lot of shots the last couple of days."
Singh didn't focus on the negative.
"I had problems on the greens. But that's been a problem for a while for me," Singh said. "You know, I take something positive that I know what I need to work on right now. It's getting the short game down. I think I've neglected that a little bit. I know when I go back what I need to work on."
Woods, as usual, isn't planning to let his competitive hunger dissipate any time soon.
"Any time you think you've arrived, quit. But I don't think you ever get there. You've always got to continue to try to get better. That's what's exciting about tomorrow: the fact that I can be better tomorrow than I am today."
There's another kind of hunger that's coming for the six-time Grand Slam champion, who lost 6 pounds because of the illness.
"My stomach's good. I got a great night's rest. I haven't eaten a lot. At least the good sign is I'm starting to get hungry."
Wie 5 strokes back at Casio World Open
KOCHI, Japan » Michelle Wie shot a 1-over-par 73 today, trailing Toshimitsu Izawa and Yoshiaki Kimura by five strokes after the first round of the Casio World Open.
Wie, only the second woman to play in a Japanese men's event, teed off from the 10th hole at the par-72 Kochi Kuroshio Country Club and bogeyed the par-4 16th hole when she three-putted.
She bogeyed Nos. 2 and 3 before recovering with back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes.
"Coming back like that will give me confidence for tomorrow," Wie said. "It's good to know I can do that even when I'm not playing that well."
On the par-5 No. 7, she drove into the rough, but blasted out with a 5-wood and then hit a sand wedge to 4 feet from the hole before making the birdie putt.
"I wanted to be a little higher," Wie said. "But considering how I struggled in the middle I'm pretty happy with the round I had. Hopefully, I can come back tomorrow and play a better round."
Wie is making her sixth start in a men's professional tournament. She has failed to make the cut in three PGA Tour starts, a Nationwide Tour event and a Canadian Tour event.
The $1.17 million tournament is Wie's first since she was disqualified last month in her pro debut.
"I felt a little nervous off the tee," Wie said. "But being nervous like that can be a good thing."