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Tiger pounces on 75th career crown

TIGER-PINESLA JOLLA, California, January 28 – World No. 2 Tiger Woods captured his 75th career title on Monday, winning the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open by four strokes for his record-setting eighth career triumph at Torrey Pines.

Despite struggling in windy conditions Monday, Woods showed flashes of the form that has brought him 14 major titles, four shy of the all-time record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus.

Woods won his most recent major crown at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines and has also won the PGA event staged at Torrey Pines seven times. No other PGA player has won so many times on a single course.

Woods, who also has won PGA events seven times at Bay Hill and Firestone, moved closer to the all-time record of 82 triumphs set by the late Sam Snead.

A fog delay that wiped out almost all play on Saturday led to the Monday finish, with darkness halting Woods’ final round on Sunday after seven holes. His 11 holes on Monday in the wind took four hours and disrupted his game.

“In the end I just started losing my patience,” Woods said. “It was so slow out there.”

Woods completed a final-round par 72 Monday despite going three-over in the closing stretch, finishing 72 holes on 14-under par 274. Fellow Americans Brandt Snedeker, the 2012 winner, and Josh Teater shared second on 278.

Woods had two bogeys and a double bogey between the 14th and 17th holes, but the 37-year-old golf legend managed a par at the par-5 18th to close out the victory.

“It got a little ugly toward the end,” Woods said. “I started losing my patience with slow play and lost my concentration there a little bit.”

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After missing the cut in his season opener at Abu Dhabi, Woods collected his first victory since last July at the US PGA National at Congressional.

Taking the $1.08 million top prize at the $6.1 million event is a good omen for Woods.

In all six prior years when Woods won the PGA event at Torrey Pines, he won at least four tournaments that year. In five of those six years, he won a major title that year.

“I would like to win eight, nine times a year,” Woods said. “That’s not a bad thing.”

Woods appeared set to threaten the tournament victory margin record he set in 2008 when he won by eight strokes but poor tee shots in the final holes swiped some of the magic from his dominating performance.

“I had an eight-shot lead,” Woods said. “I just needed to stay upright.”

Woods seized the lead after Friday’s second round, never played a stroke on Saturday, then stretched his lead to six strokes by playing six-under over 25 holes on Sunday.

Opening with five pars Monday in breezy conditions, Woods saved par at the par-5 ninth after going way right off the tee near a spectator fence and saved par at the par-3 11th thanks to a bunker shot that rolled across the green to stop within inches of the cup.

Woods birdied the par-5 13th for an eight-stroke edge. But Woods made his first bogey of the round at the 14th, then lost his ball in dense brush after going left off the 15th tee on his way to a double bogey.

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Woods parred the par-3 16th but took another bogey at the par-4 17th before coming home with a par.

“I started losing my patience and consequently I made a few mistakes,” said Woods. “I played pretty well through 13, built myself a nice little lead and made a few mistakes coming home but had a big enough cushion that it was fine.”

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