SAN DIEGO —
So right when Woods generates a buzz by winning Torrey Pines, golf will have to do without him until the end of next month.
It’s tempting to make bold declarations about the rest of the year based on how Woods played last week, though the finish left just as many questions. And remember, it was only a week ago that Woods missed the cut in Abu Dhabi. Give it time.
Still, there was something inevitable about this win, beyond the location. Woods took over the tournament during a four-hole stretch in the second round when he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt, hit 5-iron to 5 feet for eagle, had a two-putt birdie and then one-hopped his wedge off the flag for another birdie.
His lead went from two shots after 36 holes, to four shots after 54 holes, to six shots at the close of business Sunday with 11 holes left.
“After last week, I think he was irritated and I think he was a little upset at how he played,” Hunter Mahan said Monday morning. “I think he wanted to make a statement, and there’s not many guys in golf who can go to a tournament and make a statement, but he is. I think he’s making one this week, and I think he’s going to do everything he can to make this a double-digit win for himself and just kind of reclaim his dominance on the tour.”
It looked as if that would be the case when Woods two-putted the 13th hole for an eight-shot lead Monday. What happened the rest of the way was awkward. Woods hit two tee shots that barely traveled more than 200 yards.
“This one is going to irk him,” Nick Faldo said, adding that Woods still had demons with his driving. Maybe so. The better measure of his driving is when the shots actually mean something. Woods looked more interested in getting off the golf course than winning by double digits.
Winning was never in doubt, however, and that’s what should be remembered.
The real measure, of course, is the majors.