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WEB-ONLY EXCLUSIVE
Tiger Woods Clinches Victory in Bangkok
The world's number one golfer remains just that after winning the Johnnie Walker Classic
By ROBERT HORN Bangkok

November 20, 2000
Web posted at 10:50 a.m. Hong Kong time, 9:50 p.m. EDT



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Mobile Phones Frustrate Razor Sharp Tiger Woods: Day two of Thailand's Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament
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In the end, Tiger Woods was just too hot. As most of the field wilted under the blistering Bangkok sun, Woods turned up the heat on the final day of the Johnnie Walker Classic, winning his 10th championship of the year with a phenomenal 25- under-par 263 that shattered the tournament record by five strokes. Only a gallant run on the back nine by Australia's Geoff Ogilvy, who finished 3 strokes back at 22-under, kept Asia's premier golfing event from becoming a complete blowout by the world number one.

Woods was a model of consistency throughout the tournament, following an opening round of 68 with three consecutive 7-under-par 65s. His four-day total was his lowest score in relation to par this season. Remarkably, he played better than his final numbers indicated, as several of his long putts and approach shots missed the cup by the slimmest of margins. It was Ogilvy, however, who put together the final day's most brilliant round, birdying eight times for a 64. But still, it wasn't enough. "It's ridiculous, and that was as good as I could have played," Ogilvy said. "All credit to him [Woods]. He's the best; he's the king. He's just too good. Finishing second to Tiger is almost like winning anyway."

Defending champion Michael Campbell, who shot a 3-under-par 69 to finish seven strokes back at 18-under, followed Ogilvy. Campbell nearly scored an eagle on the par-4 10th when his approach was dead on line but bounced over the hole. The New Zealander was on Tiger's tail early, but on the back nine Woods began finding his zone and opened up a wide berth between him and his pursuers. "The goal was to go out and shoot a 65. That way, Michael would have to shoot a 62 to force a playoff," Woods said. "The ninth was a key hole. I hadn't hit the greatest of approach shots there, but today I chipped up and was able to stuff it. That let me get out of the back nine at 3-under which gave me a good chance of getting the 65."

Tiger might have scored even lower had it not been for a few bad breaks. His eagle putt on 14 stopped as it hung on the lip of the hole. On 15, his birdie putt died just over an inch from the cup, while on 17 his chip shot rolled just a sliver to the right. Nonetheless, his final total easily bested the tournament record of 268 set by Ian Palmer in 1992. Woods admitted for the first time that the steamy Bangkok heat was a factor. "I was hot. I've never drunk so much water," he said. By the second hole his red shirt was drenched in sweat. The heat was also a factor in the low scores, he said. "When it's this hot, the course will play short. The ball was really flying out there in this heat."

Woods pocketed more than $190,000 in prize money for the win, his third in three tries in Thailand. He defeated Ernie Els in a playoff at the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1998, and ran away form the field. "It's always special to win in Thailand. It's the country where my mother was born. Thailand is part of my heritage, my culture, my family," Woods said at the closing ceremony as his mother Kultida looked on. Behind them, dozens of traditional Thai dancers clad in red and gold silk swayed up the fairway followed by five elephants. The pachyderms might be natives, but even they found the sun a bit much. They headed straight for a water hazard to drink their fill and beat the heat.

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