Woods wins 52nd PGA title on 10th anniversary

Tiger Woods clinched the 52nd PGA Tour victory of his career exactly a decade after he turned professional.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 13:44 IST

Tiger Woods thrives on winning numbers and appropriately clinched the 52nd PGA Tour victory of his career on Sunday exactly 10 years after he turned professional.

The world number one, who joined the paid ranks in Milwaukee on August 27, 1996, edged fellow American Stewart Cink in a sudden-death playoff for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

It was Woods' fifth victory at Firestone Country Club in seven starts and his fourth in a row on the PGA Tour.

However, he played down his achievement in joining Byron Nelson in fifth place in the all-time Tour standings with 52 career wins.

"That's misleading, I think, because Mr. Nelson retired at a very early age," Woods told reporters after holing an eight-foot birdie putt to beat Cink on the fourth extra hole at a rain-lashed Firestone.

"If he would have kept playing another 10 years, kept playing to the longevity that the guys do now, I'm sure he probably would have even eclipsed Mr. Snead.

"To be tied with him, it's very misleading because his span of success was pretty impressive."

Woods and Nelson trail only Arnold Palmer (62), Ben Hogan (64), Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82) in PGA Tour career victories.

Asked whether he viewed his peers or the golfing greats of the past as his main competition, the 30-year-old relied: "It's always yourself.

"You're always trying to better what you've done in the past, always. Hopefully that's good enough to beat the rest of the guys.

"But if you keep improving each and every day, then in the end you're always going to have a very successful career."

Woods conceded he had been fortunate to win a fifth title at Firestone after struggling with his game over the final two rounds.

"I'm just happy to come out on top because I didn't really have any game today and I was just trying to hang around with my putter,' the 12-times major winner said.

"And I did that today on the back nine. All in all, very lucky."

First Published: Aug 28, 2006 13:44 IST