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Woods rallies to win seventh PGA Grand Slam title
Tiger Woods roared back into contention on the front nine and then pulled away to win his seventh PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Poipu Bay Golf Course. Woods carded four front-nine birdies in the whipping wind while his competitors struggled to score.
POIPU BEACH, Hawaii (AP) -- It started shaky but ended the same way for Tiger Woods -- surrounded by hula dancers on the 18th green, wearing a floral lei and posing with a trophy.
Woods rallied to win the PGA Grand Slam of Golf for a record seventh straight time, closing with a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Wednesday to beat Jim Furyk by two strokes.
The British Open and PGA Championship winner, who started the day three shots behind Furyk, finished the 36-hole tournament with an 8-under 136 total to earn $500,000, giving him more than $3 million in career Grand Slam winnings.
"I certainly played better than I did yesterday," Woods said. "Gave myself some chances. ... Overall, I really hit the ball crisp and clear today, which was nice."
Furyk, the world's No. 2 golfer behind Woods, closed with a 71 to take home $300,000. U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy (74) was six strokes back and earned $250,000. Mike Weir (74) was last at 1-over and made $200,000.
Woods has owned Poipu, also winning in 1998, '99, '00, '01, '02 and '05. He finished second to Ernie Els in '97 in his only other appearance in the event.
Last year, Woods closed with a 64 to win by seven strokes over Phil Mickelson, despite losing six pounds because of a stomach virus.
"I've always loved coming here," he said.
Furyk opened with a 67 for a one-stroke lead over Ogilvy and a three-stroke lead over Woods. But he wasn't able to apply any pressure on his opponents, missing several fairways.
"I wasn't firing on all cylinders and not swinging at it nearly as well as I would like to," Furyk said.
Woods used a strong short game to make up for his struggles off the tee during Tuesday's opening round. The 12-time major winner chipped away at the lead until he holed a 25-foot chip on No. 9 to tie Furyk for the lead at 6-under.
After his 6-iron shot landed short and left of the pin, Woods' chip bounced a few feet from the cup, checked because of the backspin and rolled straight in. He shook his fist and smiled as the gallery cheered wildly.
"A lot of luck," Woods said.
Everyone could sense Woods' momentum building.
"He played smarter and smarter, almost like he got smarter during the tournament," said Ogilvy, making his Grand Slam debut.
Woods took sole possession of the lead on the next hole when Furyk skated his 5-footer for par to the left for his first bogey of the tournament. It was Woods' first lead in the tournament since birdieing the second hole of the opening round.
"I've never been on the course and thought, 'Wow. It's really slipping away,"' Furyk said. "You're always plugging away, always trying because you never know what's going to happen.
"He might make a bogey, you could make a birdie and get two shots real quick," he said.
Woods reached 7-under and took a two-stroke lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 15. Furyk was inside Woods, but two-putted from 6 feet.
Woods made his move early, sinking short putts on Nos. 2 and 3 for birdie, pulling within a stroke of Furyk.
"I thought that was probably the most ideal start I could have had, is to able to pick up two shots that fast," Woods said.
The Americans both birdied the 573-yard sixth to pull away from Ogilvy and Weir.
Unlike previous events where Woods was relaxed and chatty, Woods appeared more serious to start the round but loosened up before the turn.
Conditions at the oceanside layout were sunny and much windier than the opening round. The players were soaked by a sudden shower on the par-4 13th. They hid under umbrellas held by their caddies for a few minutes until the rains passed.
Ogilvy began the day a stroke behind Furyk but couldn't get a grasp of the tricky greens. The 29-year-old Australian bogeyed three of the first seven holes, falling five strokes behind the pace.
Weir, who was followed by about a dozen friends from his native Canada, never was able to challenge for the lead with two birdies, two bogeys and a triple-bogey on the 179-yard seventh that dropped him to 2-over on the day.
His 9-iron tee shot fell short of the green and plunged into the water. He then missed a 3-foot putt for double-bogey after stepping away because of the gusty wind.
Weir and Furyk were selected as alternates based on their performances in the four majors. Two spots were open because Woods claimed two majors and Masters winner Phil Mickelson declined to play.
Furyk won the 2003 Grand Slam, beating Weir by eight strokes.
The tournament concludes Woods' dominant year that saw eight wins on tour but marred by the death of his father, Earl, who died of cancer May 3.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.