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Woods Drives to 5

His fifth consecutive PGA Tour title comes with a fast-starting 63 that ties his best final round and quickly overtakes Singh for a two-shot victory.

September 05, 2006|From the Associated Press

NORTON, Mass. — Tiger Woods needed only three holes to make it a fair fight.

Before long, it was no contest.

Woods made two eagles in his first seven holes to turn a rally into a rout, matching the best final round of his career with an eight-under 63 to win the Deutsche Bank Championship here Monday and stretch his PGA Tour winning streak to five tournaments.

It was the first time Woods has won five consecutive times in one season, and his two-shot victory over Vijay Singh gave him seven titles in only 14 tournaments this year, a staggering victory rate of 50%.

About the only thing stopping him is the schedule.

Woods is taking this week off.

"It's nice when you get on a roll like this where things are just happening," said Woods, who finished at 16-under 268 and earned $990,000 for the title, pushing his season total to over $8.6 million.

It all happened so quickly on Labor Day at the Tournament Players Club of Boston, where thousands of fans crammed behind the ropes to witness what was supposed to be a duel between Woods and Singh, who started the final round with a three-shot lead.

Woods hit a towering six-iron from 210 yards that carried a swamp and plopped down 10 feet from the hole for eagle on the par-five second. Then came a tee shot to 15 feet for birdie on the next hole to give him a share of the lead.

"I just had to run him down as fast as possible, try to at least get him by the time the front nine was over," Woods said. "But I was able to do it within three holes."

Two holes later, he raised the putter in his left hand toward the sunny skies as a 25-foot birdie fell to give him the lead. And his best golf was yet to come.

Singh didn't do himself any favors by missing four of the first six greens and settling for pars. But even after he made a spectacular play of his own, an 87-yard bunker shot on the par-five seventh that spun back to two feet, Woods made a 10-foot eagle for a two-shot lead.

And after two more birdie putts on the back nine, Woods was hoisting yet another trophy.

"Tiger played unbelievable," Singh said. "He made two eagles and just took it away."

The streak started in July at the British Open, when Woods won for the first time since his father died in May. The tears flowed freely that afternoon in Hoylake as he coped with the realization that Earl Woods would never see him win another tournament. The victories haven't stopped.

There were four rounds of 66 at the Buick Open, followed by a putting exhibition at Medinah that carried him to a five-shot victory in the PGA Championship for his 12th major title. Then came his 11th title in the World Golf Championships at Firestone, winning a four-hole playoff against Stewart Cink.

Byron Nelson won 11 consecutive tournaments in 1945, a streak regarded as one of the most untouchable in sports.

Woods won four consecutive at the end of 1999 and his first two in 2000 for six in a row, tying him with Ben Hogan in 1948 for the second-longest winning streak.

His next PGA Tour event will be the American Express Championship outside London the last week of September.

"You've got to have so many things go right," Woods said. "In this day and age, with this competition, to win 11 in a row would be almost unheard of. What Byron accomplished, that goes down as one of the great years in the history of our sport. You've got to have one bad week somewhere. I guess his bad week was a win."

Can the record be reached?

"If a lot of guys pull out," Woods said with a laugh.

He did surpass Nelson in one category: Woods won for the 53rd time in his career, moving ahead of Lord Byron into fifth place on the all-time list.

Woods' quick start Monday was surprising, especially with Singh coming off a career-best round of 10-under 61.

"Vijay played one of the great rounds of golf yesterday," Woods said. "I figured one of the hardest things to do is follow a great round with another one."

Woods twice shot 63 in the final round at the Byron Nelson Championship and once at Disney, but this was his lowest final round in a tournament that he won.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

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Up and up

*--* CONSECUTIVE TOUR WINS: No. Player, Year 11 BYRON NELSON, 1945 6 BEN HOGAN, 1948 6 TIGER WOODS, 1999-2000 5 TIGER WOODS, 2006

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*--* MOST PGA TOUR WINS: No. Player 82 SAM SNEAD 73 JACK NICKLAUS 64 BEN HOGAN 62 ARNOLD PALMER 53 TIGER WOODS 52 BYRON NELSON

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Source: pgatour.com

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