Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Paul Casey denies resurgent Tiger Woods to end his own barren run

Lowry in the mix at Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour Bettors, strong tournament drive Tiger Woods' Masters odds to 10-1
Domingo Copeland | 12 March, 2018, 09:26

Paul Casey won his first PGA Tour event since 2009 in the Valspar Championship as Tiger Woods came up just short in his own remarkable bid for an overdue victory.

He wasn't as sharp with his irons in the final round, and he struggled with the speed of the greens while taking 32 putts, and yet he arrived on Innisbrook's 18 tee needing a birdie to force a playoff with Paul Casey.

Casey, 40, was already in the clubhouse at 10 under, and Patrick Reed, playing in the group just ahead of Woods, could have forced a playoff with a closing par, but bogeyed instead to fall a shot back.

Woods' last win came in Akron, Ohio and his near miss in Florida leaves the 42-year-old on 79 US PGA Tour triumphs.

The 14-time major victor, who has struggled with a series of injuries since his most recent victory, laid well back off the 18th tee and hit his approach from 185 yards to just inside 40 feet.

"Today wasn't quite as sharp as I would like to have had it but I had a good chance at winning this tournament", Woods said.

"It was one of those days where I just kept getting the half-club, just one of those days where I couldn't quite get the full-club", Tiger said after the 18th.

For Casey, it was his first PGA Tour victory in nine years.

He didn't come to life until he drained an outrageous, left-to-right curling bomb from 44 feet at the 17th to get within one. That's something special. I actually thought he was going to win today before the round started.

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"I loved his putt on 17".

"I thought it was just teed up beautifully for him".

He got his stiffest challenge from Tolles, who was bogey-free before he three-putted the tough par-3 17th.

What do you take away from a week like this? And, unlike most sports where fans are drowned out by one another and it's all white noise, Woods plays in a quiet sport such as golf where he can hear fans calling out his name and making personal comments.

Woods will play next at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, beginning March 15 (AEDT). And with a PC win, we are more than happy at GolfPunk Towers. I've won my share of events here and overseas and so I like to be one back or near the lead.

I gave myself a chance going to 18, and one thing you can't do is leave it short, " Woods said.

Tiger Woods has played consistently well for seven consecutive rounds. I hit a good dying pace. With just a wedge in his hand, he twirled the club after playing his second shot, thinking he had fired his approach in close. He shot a 70 in the first round on Thursday, before carding a 3-under-par 68 on Friday. This particular streak belonged to Paul Casey, whose last PGA TOUR title came nearly nine years ago. One of those - unfortunately everybody, seems everybody has the same story I've got.

Spain's Sergio Garcia enjoyed an excellent final round of 65 and the defending Masters champion will take great confidence from his fourth place finish at Innisbrook.

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