By Stephanie Wei
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Tiger won the 51st and last Buick Open by three shots over Roland Thatcher, John Senden and Greg Chalmers. He fired three-under-par 69 for a 72 hole total of 20-under-par on the way to his 69th career win. Yada, yada, yada…a bunch of relative unknowns rounded up the top ten, including a guy named Brian Vranesh. Has anyone heard of him? I don’t think I’ve ever said his name before.
I could have written this headline last night and I was tempted to — as a joke.
It almost looked like Tiger was bored. I mean, I was falling asleep while I watched. He had three birdies and fifteen pars. He continued to struggle from the tee, hitting about 53% of the fairways for the week. But per usual he scrambled his way to the winner’s circle. (Lest we forget, he has a lot of practice playing from the trees.) Oh, the putter was working for him, though. We also had the unique opportunity of seeing the CBS commentators analyze his swing via “Swing Vision” at least two dozen times.
I wish Tiger could have made a few more birdies just to make it a tad exciting. Or perhaps some of the others could have made a better run. I know the rest of the field didn’t technically “give up,” but everyone knows Tiger rarely blows leads going into the final day.
The exciting part of the day came from the loud cheers of the enthusiastic fans. The scenes on the final two holes were pretty incredible. On the 17th, the crowd chanted, “Let’s Go Tiger!” They waved signs, such as “Buick Open: One More Year.” It just shows how much the tournament means to the local community. It really is a shame GM can no longer afford to keep their sponsorship. As Tiger walked up to the 18th green, the stampede flooded the fairway. After he putted out, he tossed his ball into the gallery that had gathered behind him.
It was really classy he decided to play in the Buick — it gave the fans a lasting memory as they bade farewell to the longstanding and cherished tour stop.
So Tiger has win a fourth win in ‘09 under his belt. He is still “struggling,” though — I hope he wins the PGA Championship so critics will stop saying he’s not as dominant as he used to be. It’s funny; I never used to be this supportive of Tiger until people started doubting him this season. Maybe I just like to play devil’s advocate.