Tiger Woods Wins His 63rd PGA Event to Pass Palmer
By Mason Levinson
Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Tiger Woods won his sixth straight
tournament title and passed Arnold Palmer on the U.S. PGA Tour's
all-time wins list after defeating Stewart Cink in the final of
the World Golf Championships Match Play event.
The win gave Woods 63 career victories, fourth-most in PGA
Tour history and two shy of passing Ben Hogan for third. The
world's No. 1 ranked golfer beat J.B. Holmes, Arron Oberholser,
Aaron Baddeley, K.J. Choi and defending champion Henrik Stenson
before defeating Cink 8 and 7 in today's final at The Gallery at
Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. It was his third win at the
``Just to be in the same breath as Arnold Palmer and Ben
Hogan, obviously you've had a pretty good career,'' Woods said
during a televised post-match interview.
Today's win gave Woods one more than Palmer, who won 62 of
478 events during his career. Woods, who has played in 218
tournaments, needs 20 Tour wins to pass Sam Snead and become No.
1 on the all-time wins list. Snead has 82 victories, followed by
Jack Nicklaus with 73 and Ben Hogan with 64. Hogan won 26
percent of tournaments he entered, compared with 29 percent for
Never Trailed After Two
Woods birdied the second hole to take an advantage over
Cink that he would never surrender. He finished the first 18
holes with six birdies, and added another seven in the afternoon
round before the match ended on the 29th hole because of Woods's
insurmountable lead. Cink had five birdies and an eagle during
In his first match of the event, Woods rebounded from a
three-hole deficit with five holes to play during his 1-Up win
over Holmes earlier in the week. Woods birdied the 14-16 holes
and eagled the 17th.
``Luckily, the putts have fallen,'' Woods said today. ``I
had just a great feel for the greens this week. Once I got a
feel for them, for some reason they all kept falling.''
The 32-year-old Woods won his first two tournaments this
season -- the Buick Open last month and the Dubai Desert Classic
three weeks ago -- after ending last season with three straight
The win also gives Woods the lead in the FedEx Cup
standings, which determines the Tour's year-end champion. He has
9,225 points, ahead of Phil Mickelson, who has 8,331 points
after winning the Northern Trust Open a week ago.
Woods is 31-6 all-time in the Match Play Championship,
which is a head-to-head competition over 18 or 36 holes. Unlike
golf's typical stroke-play tournaments in which the winner is
determined by the fewest total shots over four rounds, match
play is decided by the player who wins more holes.
Woods, who earned $1.35 million for the win, ended
Stenson's 10-match winning streak in yesterday's semifinals,
taking the last two holes for a 2-Up victory. He eliminated Choi
3 and 2 in the final eight, meaning he had an insurmountable
three-hole lead with two to play.
The 34-year-old Cink, who earned $800,000 for his runner-up
finish, won yesterday against Justin Leonard and Angel Cabrera.
He was seeking his first U.S. PGA Tour victory since winning
twice in 2004. Cink was seeded 22nd in the field entering the
tournament, which included 64 of the top 65 golfers in the world
Stenson raised his career record in the event to 12-2,
beating Justin Leonard 3 and 2.
Stenson defeated Woody Austin 2-Up in yesterday's
quarterfinals before losing to Woods, while Leonard knocked off
Vijay Singh 1-Up before falling to Cink.