Woods gives a 'so good it's sickening' effort

Posted: Monday, March 24, 2003

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Not even a nasty bout of food poisoning could stop Tiger Woods from winning the Bay Hill Invitational for the fourth straight year.

So sick that he frequently ducked into the bushes and dropped to his knees, Woods still looked as dominant as ever Sunday with a 4-under 68 to win by 11 strokes, the fourth time in his career he has won by double digits.

Woods became the first player in 73 years to win the same tournament four years in a row, and the final margin indicates this one was the easiest of all.

That was hardly the case.

Woods came down with food poisoning Saturday night after a pasta dinner prepared by his girlfriend, Elin Nordegren. Only a day earlier, she collapsed outside the clubhouse from food poisoning and dehydration. Nordegren spent the night in the hospital.

He threw up three times during the first five holes and often stopped in his tracks and doubled over, wincing in pain. When he tapped in for par on the final hole, he had just enough strength left on a rainy afternoon to raise his right arm and salute the crowd. Woods finished at 19-under 269 and became the first player since Gene Sarazen in the Miami Open (1926-30) to win the same event four straight times.

Brad Faxon missed a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole that cost him $189,000. He had a 74 and dropped into a four-way tie for second with Kirk Triplett (70), Kenny Perry (71) and Stewart Cink (72).

Safeway Ping

PHOENIX -- Se Ri Pak needed a big start to beat Annika Sorenstam, and she got it with a pair of front nine eagles. On a course where birdies came in bunches, though, it took a scrambling par to clinch her win.

Pak's long par putt after hitting it in the water on the 17th hole kept her in the lead, and she finished with a tap-in birdie on the final hole for an 8-under 64 to win the Safeway Ping by a shot over Grace Park.

Sorenstam, meanwhile, struggled with her wedges and putter all day and was never in contention on the back nine. She finished with a 1-under 71, four shots back.

Toshiba Classic

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Australian Rodger Davis shot a 3-under-par 68 to win the Toshiba Senior Classic by four strokes, his first victory in the United States.

In his 42nd appearance on the Champions Tour, Davis finished at 16-under 197, making good on his prediction that it would take at least 15 under to win. Larry Nelson closed with a 4-under 67 to finish second at 12-under 201. He had four birdies in his first seven holes, but he slipped back with a bogey at No. 8.

Madeira Island

SANTO DA SERRA, Madeira Islands -- Bradley Dredge of Wales won his first European tour title, capturing the Madeira Island Open by eight strokes. Dredge, the only top-100 player in the event, closed with a 1-under-par 71 for a total of 16-under 272. The victory margin was the second-highest this season, behind Ernie Els' 10-stroke victory in the Johnnie Walker Classic.

Sweden's Fredrik Andersson and England's Brian Davis and Andrew Marshall shared second at 280.



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