Tiger Woods – Getty Images
Tiger Woods has joined Sam Snead as the most prolific winner of PGA Tour titles (82) with a three-shot victory over Hideki Matsuyama in the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Chiba near Tokyo today.
Woods and the bulk of the field were required to return to the Accordia Golf Narashino C.C. after darkness had forced the suspension of play on Sunday, the event being behind schedule after Friday washout.
Woods returned at 8.30am Tokyo time on Monday morning and began his day with a three shot lead and when he bogeyed his first hole of the morning. the 12th, he allowed Hideki Matsuyama to creep within two of the lead.
Woods though would birdie the 14th from 14 feet and although Matsuyama maintained the pressure as much as he could with a lengthy birdie putt of his own at the 16th when Woods stood on the 72nd tee he was still two ahead and closed it out with another birdie to win by three.
Woods was clinical in the manner he protected his overnight advantage after the early hiccup over the closing six holes this morning never appearing in any sort of bother eventually closing out one of the more significant moments in his career with an up and down from the front bunker at the last.
In a telling comment on his chances of being in the US Presidents Cup side, when asked how impactful Tiger Woods the player was to Tiger Woods the captain this week in regard to including himself in the Presidents Cup side Woods responded;
“I think the player definitely got the captain’s attention”
Matsuyama finished runner-up after being unable to force the issue at the last when he drove into the fairway bunker and could only par the reachable par 5.
Rory McIlroy and Sungjae Im both finished the event strongly to tie for 3rd place, Im surely now a lock for one of the four captain’s picks in the Ernie Els led Presidents Cup side.
After his runner-up finish in Korea last week, New Zealander, Danny Lee, recorded another top ten when he tied for 10th to be the best of the Australasians in the field.
Lee has earned more then US$1.25 million in the last two weeks.
Jason Day continued his strong recovery after a slow start to the event to finish 22nd, Adam Scott 33rd and Marc Leishman 69th.