Woods turns on the magic to grab third Buick Open crown


THE SMILE'S BACK!  World number one Tiger Woods with the Buick Open trophy he won on Sunday. AP

The troubled Detroit automaker is expected to pull its sponsorship next season, meaning the tournament will disappear from the PGA Tour calendar.

If Sunday was indeed the tournament's final bow, then it could not have wished for a better send-off, the world number one delighting the fans at one of his favourite venues with a clinical, and at times emotional, victory.

"I've never played in front of fans like this," Woods told reporters after a bogey-free final round of 69.

"This has been incredible, especially what's going on here in the area, for everyone to come out, it just makes it that much more special for all of us.

"I've been here since '99, and I've always enjoyed coming here. Only two years I haven't played here is because of the birth of my child, and my knee wasn't very good last year.
"So that's the only two times I haven't played here.”

Playing his first event since missing the cut at the British Open, Woods began a sun-kissed day at Warwick Hills with a one-shot cushion and was never challenged, picking up birdies at the fourth, seventh and 16th for a 20-under 268.

Australians Greg Chalmers (69), John Senden (71) and American Roland Thatcher, with the round of the day an eight-under 64, finished in a tie for second on 17-under 271.

Golf's ultimate frontrunner, the world number one is now 36-1 when holding the solo lead going into final round, Woods won his fourth Tour title this season and 69th of his career, leaving him four behind Jack Nicklaus (73) on the all-time list.

Three of those 69 wins have come at the Buick Open, a fixture on the PGA Tour schedule for more than 50 years, but which now looks set to leave Michigan, joining the thousands of auto workers who have lost their jobs.

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