2008 WGC-CA Championship Review and Tour Notes
by Matt of Predictem.com
All good things must come to an end, a point illustrated by Geoff Ogilvy as he took the trophy at the WGC-CA Championship, ending Tiger Wood’s run of six straight PGA Tour wins. Ogilvy held off an elite field and battled the elements to take top honors at the Blue Course at Doral.
Rain was a big factor this week as torrential storms delayed play on Saturday and Sunday, forcing the leaders to finish partial rounds on Monday. The third round was completed with Ogilvy on top of the field by four strokes but with a virtual who’s who of the PGA Tour lurking behind. Vijay Singh, Reteif Goosen and Jim Furyk made moves in their third rounds to be near the top as the final round commenced. Going into the final 18, Woods would be looking for a special round, as he trailed by 5 shots.
As play resumed on Monday, Ogilvy found himself only two shots clear of his pursuers and needed solid play over his last nine holes to ensure the win. Nine pars is what he would card, including a chip inpar on the 13th to wrap up a final round 71, good for a 17-under par total of 271. The final round was the only in which Ogilvy did not break 70. Ogilvy never gave much back to the field all week, carding only one bogey for the tournament. For his efforts, Ogilvy earned $1.35 million and the winner’s share of the FedExCup Points.
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Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh and Reteif Goosen would all tally final round 68’s and all finish tied for second at 16-under, 272. Singh made a run at Ogilvy with a third round 63 and stayed close throughout the final round before back to back bogeys late, derailed his chances to win. Furyk and Goosen had identical weekend rounds of 64 and 68 to solidify their runner up finishes, for Goosen, it was his best finish sincea second at last year’s Masters.
Woods wound up in solo 5th, 2 back, at 15-under 273. Tiger’s undoing was the third round even-par 72 he shot as many of his competitors were going low. He did make some noise Monday, with three birdies to get within two of the lead, but just ran out of time as his bid for 3 straight CA Championships came up short. Woods will play next in the Masters, as he looks for the first leg of the calendar Grand Slam.
Rounding out the top-10 were the trio of Graeme Storm, Steve Stricker and Nick O’Hern. Storm got into contention with a 63 on Saturday, while Stricker made the jump on Sunday, likewise carding a 63. O’Hern back peddled in the final round, totalinga 75 as all three were tied for 6th at 13-under, 275.
Phil Mickelson was in the field as well, finishing a ways back at 8-under, tied for 20th. A 2-over par 74 on Friday was too much for Lefty to overcome. The World Golf Championship events have no cuts, but two big names who certainly struggled this week were Rory Sabbatini and Ernie Els. Sabbatini was 6-over par overall and Els totaled 8-over with no round under 73.
While the PGA’s top golfers were in Florida, the remaining Tour players were at the Trump International in Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Open. Greg Kraft finished at 14-under for the one stroke win, holding off Bo Van Pelt and Jerry Kelly. Briny Baird and Kevin Stadler finished two back at 12-under to round out the top-5 finishers. Kraft will take home $630,000 and an amendedFedExCup points total.
When your worst finish on the year is 5th, you don’t have too look too far down the money list to find your name. In fact, you will find your name on top. Tiger has earned $3.615 million in ’08 and sits about $1.5 mil ahead of 2nd place Mickelson. Vijay cracks the top-5, moving from 7th to 3rd at just under $2 million earned in his 9 events. K.J. Choi occupies the 4th spot and is followed closely by Ogilvy, who moves to 5th from 77th. Reteif Goosen moves from 109th to 28th with the second place finish and Greg Kraft jumps from 160th to 27th with the Puerto Rico win. There are already 17 PGA Tour millionaires on the ’08 season.
The FedExCup Points list looks much the same as the Money List again, with Tiger and Phil retaining the top 2 slots. Singh slides to 3rd here too, with Choi and Cink making up the rest of the top-5. Geoff Ogilvy is 10th after the win and Greg Kraft is 37th, up from 162nd.
The PGA exits Florida for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Expect many of the bigger names to opt for rest and early preparation for the Masters in two weeks.
You will be able to see Tiger and others play this week as the Tavistock Cup is played in Orlando, starting Monday afternoon. The Ryder-Cup style exhibition event pits pros from rival Florida clubs, Isleworth and Lake Nona.
You may have seen Ian Poulter putting with a wedge at the end of his third round Saturday. Poulter walked off the 14th green and struck the ground with his putter in such a way that caused a weight on the club to become unattached. Officials deemed the club non-conforming as well as non-replaceable as the damage occurred outside the course of normal play. Poulter finished the remaining holes even par.