U.S. OPEN Preview
When the US Open returns to Torrey Pines, one player who the world will miss is the injured Tiger Woods. It is certain that Tiger too will miss being there considering his love affair with the course. He grew up in nearby Los Angeles and played Torrey several times when he was growing up.
Tiger in his prime surely loved Torrey Pines and his eight professional wins in 13 starts spanning from 1999-2013 at the same venue, attest to that statement. He would have really given his all if he had a chance to play at his favourite course, Torrey Pines for another U.S. Open title.
Let’s look at the timeline of Tiger’s wins at Torrey Pines –
1. Buick Invitational – 1999
On Feb.14, 1999 a 23-year old Tiger Woods claimed his eighth PGA TOUR title after shooting 68-71-62-65 (-22) by two strokes over Billy Ray Brown.
2. Buick Invitational – 2003
On Feb,16, 2003 Tiger came off a surgery to win by four-strokes after shooting 70-66-68-68 (-16) for his 35th PGA TOUR title and first of his five titles that year.
3. Buick Invitational – 2005
On Jan. 23, 2005 Tiger beat the trio of Luke Donald, Charles Howell III and Tom Lehman by three strokes at 16-under par for his 41st title on tour. The win was also his first of six for the year, including two majors – The Masters and The Open Championship.
4. Buick Invitational – 2006
On Jan.29, 2006 Tiger won title No.47 and the first of six tour titles that year, including two more majors – The Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
Buick Invitational – 2007
On Jan. 28, 2007, Tiger came from behind for title no. 55. The win was his first of seven for the season, which included a two-stroke win at the 2007 Open Championship.
6. Buick Invitational – 2008
On Jan.27, 2008, Tiger won his 4th straight Buick Open by a margin of eight-stroke, setting the tournament record after shooting 67-65-66-71 (-19). His 62nd title on the tour, equalled Arnold Palmer’s record on the all time wins list.
7. U.S. Open – 2008
Five months later on June 16, 2008, Tiger won his third U.S. Open title after shooting 72-68-70-73 (1-under 283) to force a playoff against Rocco Mediate. All this while playing with a torn ACL in his knee. On the 91st hole, Woods drained the putt to claim his third U.S. Open and 14th major title. With the win Tiger joined Jack Nicklaus as the only two players to complete career grand slams three times.
8. Farmers Insurance Open – 2013
On Jan. 28, 2013, Tiger won by four-strokes for the first of his five tour titles that year.
The upcoming U.S. Open will not see Tiger teeing up at Torrey Pines, rather a 27-year-old Bryson DeChambeau, a fellow Bridgestone brand ambassador, will be the favourite to defend his title.