Tiger Woods made up for a stuttering display in the third round of the Australian Masters by hitting a final round 68 to win the title by two shots from local hero Greg Chalmers in Melbourne.
Woods becomes only the third American to win the Australian title, following in the footsteps of Mark O’Meara in 1986 and Gene Littler in 2002, and is Woods’ seventh victory of the year.
The world number one is reported to have been paid an appearance fee of AUS $3 million to take part in the tournament, so the paltry prize money of only AUS $270,000 will seem like lose change, but significantly Woods said after the tournament “Now I have won on every continent except for Antarctica,” and while he may have been joking, it is another significant achievement for the player.
Woods should have started the final round in a more comfortable position than sharing a three way tie for lead, but after struggling with his swing on Saturday hitting a 72, he was happy to still be in contention for the last day.
Woods said after recording his first Australian Masters win;
“I hit some really good iron shots and that was the whole key to the day. I didn’t have a lot of long putts to make. All the guys have raved about this golf course and I understand why. I really enjoy playing on sandbelt courses because it brings back shot-making and we don’t see enough of that.
I would certainly love to come back. I haven’t looked at next year’s tournament schedule yet – I’ll do that next month and get an idea of what I need to do for the entire year and I’ll come up with a game plan.”