posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 05:47 PM
Vijay Singh won a head-to-head matchup with Tiger Woods to end his record reign atop golf's ultimate leaderboard.
Singh shot a 69 to beat Woods and Adam Scott by three strokes in the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, clinching the No. 1 ranking in the world
with his sixth victory of the year. Woods had been first for more than five years - a record 264 consecutive weeks.
Singh took a three-stroke lead into the final round, but he and Woods were tied at 13 under after Singh bogeyed No. 13 at the par-71, 7,415-yard TPC
of Boston. Woods bogeyed the next hole and Singh birdied 15 to pull ahead by two strokes before adding birdies on the final two holes to finish 16
under and win the $900,000 first prize.
"It feels great," said Singh, who has won the last eight times he took a lead into the final round. "I can't wait to celebrate."
Scott, the defending champion, started the day seven strokes behind Singh before making the turn with four consecutive birdies to get into contention.
He birdied the 18th hole to finish 13 under, and Woods matched him; John Rollins and Daniel Chopra were another two strokes back at minus 10.
Singh is the top winner on the tour this year with six victories, including the PGA Championship, and $7,889,566 in earnings. He needed only to finish
ahead of Woods to take over the No. 1 ranking that he has been closing in on all year.
The computer rankings factor in performance over the past two years, taking the strength of field into account; Woods held a 12.09-11.91 lead heading
into this week. The new numbers were expected to be released later Monday, but Singh's will be the first player other than Woods to hold the No. 1
ranking since Aug. 8, 1999.
"That's not too bad, is it?" Woods asked. "I've had a good run."
Singh improved to 15 under with a birdie on the first hole; Woods left a 15-footer on the rim of the cup.
On the second hole, a par-5, 553-yard dogleg right, both players got into trouble. Singh couldn't find his ball and took a drop, hit to 14 feet of the
pin and then two-putted for bogey; Woods found his among the rocks in front of the green, but when he swung at the ball he hit a rock instead, jamming
his wrist, breaking his club and costing himself a stroke.
Shaking off the pain, he punched his way up the hill, chipped onto the green and two-putted from 18 feet for a bogey.
"It hurt all day," Woods said.
Singh birdied No. 10 to move back to minus 14 and then Woods moved back within a stroke with a birdie on No. 12, chipping in from 64 feet. But by this
time, Scott had moved just one stroke behind Woods with four consecutive birdies, making putts of 16, 20, 12 and 8 feet to get to minus 12.
Singh hit his second shot over the green on the par-4 13th, then two-putted from 7 feet for bogey to fall to 13 under, tied with Woods. But Woods
missed a 9-footer for par on 14, three-putting for a bogey, and Singh knocked his second shot within 4 feet on 15 for birdie; Woods missed a 20-footer
to keep pace.
Divots: After making the cut for the first time in 15 months, David Duval finished tied for 13th for a payday of $101,250. He double-bogeyed the first
hole for the second consecutive day but shot a 67. ... Scott, who shot a 62 in the second round last year en route to a four-stroke victory at 20
under, had the best back nine of the day with a 30.