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Tiger Woods wins rollicking Buick Open for 69th PGA Tour victory

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. — After a dominant performance, amid extraordinary cheers, Tiger Woods took the microphone and delivered a eulogy.

Farewell to the Buick Open: born in 1958, vibrant to the end.

"I've played golf all over the world," said Woods, who won the tournament Sunday for a third time and claimed his 69th PGA Tour victory, "and I've never seen a day like today before."

What made Woods say that? Was it the fans at No. 1 who chanted his name when he ducked into a Porta-John, then gave him a rousing cheer when he walked out?

Was it the fans around the 17th green at Warwick Hills screaming "Tiger! Tiger!" — when he was on the adjacent eighth hole?

Or was it what happened at 17? The crowd roared like Woods had just won his 15th through 20th majors. He hit a perfect tee shot, nice and safe, 21 feet past the pin. He two-putted for par. Then he tossed his ball into the stands. He had one hole to play.

"I don't ever do that," said Woods, who shot 3-under 69 and coasted to a three-shot win with 20-under 268. "But this is different. We're not coming back here. And I just wanted to say thank you to all the people here."

GolfWeek magazine reported on its Web site that General Motors would end the tour's longest partnership after this tournament, and the Associated Press confirmed it. An announcement is expected now that the tournament is over.

Early and often at Warwick Hills, from the pro-am when he played with rocker Bob Seger through Sunday, Woods was thanked by fans who appreciated his appearance.

"I've never played in front of fans like this," Woods said.

Woods now has four wins this season, twice as many as anyone else on the tour, in 11 starts since returning from knee surgery.

Roland Thatcher (64), Greg Chalmers (68) and John Senden (70) tied for second.

Woods also moved into first place in the FedEx Cup standings and padded his lead on the money list with $918,000. His 69 wins trail Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82).

Funk gets win at U.S. Senior Open

CARMEL, Ind. — Fred Funk took a back-nine victory lap in the U.S. Senior Open.

He won by six strokes and broke the event record with a 20-under total after shooting 7-under 65 at Crooked Stick.

"It's something I really didn't fathom happening," said Funk, coming off a playoff loss to Loren Roberts last week in the Senior British Open.

Funk broke the event mark of 17 under Hale Irwin set in 2000 at Saucon Valley. He won his second senior major, following the 2008 JELD-WEN Tradition and has five Champions Tour wins.

Funk birdied Nos. 2, 5 and 9 for 33 on the front nine and was on his way to routing the field.

Joey Sindelar (70) was second at 14 under, Russ Cochran (68) 12 under and Roberts (64) and Greg Norman (73) at 11 under.

In another Sunday fall, Norman started at 12 under, one behind leader Funk, but ended up with 1-over 73. "Nothing was going my way," Norman said.

Tiger Woods wins rollicking Buick Open for 69th PGA Tour victory 08/02/09 [Last modified: Sunday, August 2, 2009 11:04pm]
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