By Garrett Johnston
Tiger Woods wrapped up the Farmers Insurance Open with a four shot victory over Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater on Monday at what has become his Coliseum of all golf courses. It marked his 75th win on the PGA Tour. He is second all-time only seven short of the legendary Sam Snead.
This was the caliber of performance that the sport has come to expect from Woods since he delivered emphatically the 1997 Masters by twelve strokes. It also harkened back to a time when Woods won consistently by significant margins at places like Torrey Pines, Augusta National, and a vast number of others.
Against arguably the best assembled field of the early season, Woods got the job done. A principle that contributed to his victory was his pursuers’ inability to sustain any kind of substantial charge at his lead.
Last year’s champion, Brandt Snedeker, ran out of holes quickly on the cliffs of Torrey Pines as he completed his final five holes at even par, eventually tying for second place with Josh Teater. Davis native Nick Watney struggled to his finish. As arguably the only player in the field with a chance to press Woods at day’s beginning, Watney played 10 holes on Monday in two-over par to finish at nine-under and in a tie for fourth. There was no such record 28, instead he delivered a 38 on Torrey Pines’ back nine on Monday.
For Woods, this is the venue on which he has now won eight professional championships, the most by any player at one course in history.
Woods has also won at least four events in every season that he’s won this event.
Many may wonder, is he back?
“I never left,” Woods told the media when posed that question.
“All I can do is control what I do on the golf course,” Woods said.
In the context of where he’d like to go from here Woods responded:
“I would like to win eight or nine times a year, that’s not a bad thing”
Woods schedule remains characteristically uncertain from here, Watney however is heading to the Phoenix Open for this Super Bowl week for his third start of the season.
He is very much looking forward to his team’s first appearance since 1995.
“They’ve been the underdog every game,” Watney said of his 49ers, “but they keep winning.”
“One game is tough but I think the Niners are a better team,” Watney said.
“I like watching the safeties Donte Witner and DeShan Goldson those guys put it to them. I enjoy watching those guys,” Watney said.
We’ll see later this week who prevails in that arena of sport.
For now in the landscape of golf, it’s Woods’ world and Watney and many others are looking up to him.
Garrett Johnston is a freelance sports journalist based in Sacramento, California.