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Woods Takes Buick Open For Final Ride

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Tiger Woods wasn't dominant, but he was good enough to win the Buick Open on Sunday in what might be the final staging of the tournament.

Woods shot 69 to finish 20 under par at Warwick Hills Country Club to beat Roland Thatcher (64), Greg Chalmers (68) and John Senden (70) by three strokes.

Woods celebrated at the final two holes by tossing a golf ball to fans.

"I never do that, but today was different," said Woods, who recorded his 69th career PGA Tour win. "We're not coming back, and I wanted to thank all the people."

Golfweek magazine and the Associated Press reported last week that Buick will drop its sponsorship of the event, ending a relationship with the PGA Tour and Warwick Hills that began in 1958. An announcement by the Tour - officials have not commented on the reports - on the event is expected this week.

Fans thanked Woods throughout the weekend for adding the Buick Open to his schedule, which began a run that continues this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, and the PGA Championship next week in Chaska, Minn.

"Today was electric out there," Woods said. "Everyone was so into the round. You could hear the fans on 17 from anywhere you went."

Woods was inconsistent throughout the round - he hit the fairway 43% of the time Sunday, though he had no bogeys - much as he was throughout the tournament. He opened with a 71 on Thursday, leaving him in a tie for 95th. After a 63 Friday and a 65 Saturday, Woods grabbed the lead after 54 holes and Sunday completed the largest jump he's made from the first round in a tournament he ended up winning. Woods also improved to 36-1 when he has the outright lead after 54 holes.

"If you look at most tournaments, you don't hit the ball great for four straight days," Woods said. "Somehow I made a score. Today I just gutted it out."

The win was Woods' fourth this season. Each has come two weeks before a major, but he tied for sixth in The Masters and U.S. Open and missed the cut in the British Open.

"I feel better," he said. "I know what I'm doing wrong. It's a matter of getting in a few more reps."

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