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Woods Starts Year with a Victory

Charles E. Sutton | 1/31/2013, 11:41 a.m.

Although Tiger Woods didn't finish strong at Torrey Pines, he was so strong for so long early in the tournament, that ultimately, it didn't matter.

It what was a long and challenging week, Woods built an eight-shot lead with five holes remaining to play Monday until he became impatient with the slow play and began losing shots that only impacted the margin of victory.

Woods closed the tournament with an even-par 72 for a four-shot win in the Farmers Insurance Open, despite two bogeys and a double bogey in the final hour.

"I'm excited the way I played all week," Woods said in the post-tournament press conference. "I hit the ball well - pretty much did everything well and built myself a nice little cushion. I had some mistakes at the end, but all my good play before that allowed me to afford those mistakes."

He earned his 75th PGA Tour career victory, which places him seven behind the record held by Sam Snead.

Woods' victory marked the seventh time he has won this tournament, and he established a PGA Tour record by winning at Torrey Pines for the eighth time, including his 2008 U.S. Open. Woods has also won seven times at Firestone and at Bay Hill.

For the 23rd time Woods won by at least four shots on the PGA Tour. Defending champion Brandt Snedeker (69) and Josh Teater (69) tied for second place. Nick Watney, who got within five shots of Woods, had a 71 and tied for fourth with Jimmy Walker.

Woods made a strong statement, coming off a missed cut last week in Abu Dhabi. This was the second time in his career that Woods came back to win his next tournament after missing the cut, but this was the first time it happened the following week.

Of all his wins on this course, which rests along the Pacific Ocean, this might have been the most unusual.

Saturday's round was postponed due to thick fog, forcing the first Monday finish in tournament history. In effect, Woods won the tournament during his 25 holes Sunday, when he turned a two-shot margin into a six-shot lead with only 11 holes to play.

This season is off to a good start for Woods. Golf analysts feel that this could be a comeback year for Woods in which he wins at least one major tournament.