David Toms was beginning to wonder if he could ever win again on the PGA Tour. Now he has the most satisfying victory of all.
More than 5 years after he last won, a week after losing in a playoff and a day after blowing a seven-stroke lead at Colonial to go into the final round trailing, the 44-year-old Toms shot a 3-under 67 yesterday to win at Hogan's Alley in Fort Worth, Texas.
"I'm not dreaming, am I? This is actually happening, right?" Toms asked when he entered the interview room wearing the championship plaid jacket. "Wow, I didn't know if this day would ever come again."
Toms regained the lead for good from Charlie Wi with an eagle with a wedge shot from 83 yards at the par-5 11th hole, and finished 15 under - a stroke ahead of Wi.
"It's one of the most perfect shots I've ever hit," Toms said.
Toms' long-elusive 13th career victory came a week after a playoff loss to K.J. Choi at The Players Championship, when he missed a short par putt on the extra hole for his sixth runner-up finish since last winning in January 2006 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
"To win after this time frame and to come back after what happened last week certainly means more to me than any other victory," said Toms, the 2001 PGA Championship winner.
Wi started the final round with a one-shot lead that he quickly expanded with birdies on the first two holes. He finished with a 69 for his fourth career runner-up finish without a win.
"It's great to finish second on the PGA Tour anytime, but it's a little bittersweet," Wi said. "I had a three-shot lead after the first two holes and thought I had a pretty good handle on myself, in control . . . I certainly didn't give it to him. He definitely earned it."
After that playoff loss at TPC Sawgrass, Toms had an opening 62 at Colonial for his best score in 429 rounds - since a career-best 61 during in his Hawaii victory. Toms followed with another bogey-free 62 to match the PGA Tour scoring record for the first 36 holes of a tournament (124), and opened the third round with another birdie.
In other tournaments:
* At Gladstone, N.J., Suzann Pettersen beat Cristie Kerr 1-up to win the Sybase Match Play Championship, ending a 20-month victory drought. Leading 1-up and with Kerr facing a 10-foot birdie attempt, Pettersen, of Norway, curled in a left to-right 15-footer for birdie to seal the victory at Hamilton Farm Golf Club.
* At Casares, Spain, Ian Poulter denied Luke Donald the top spot in the world golf rankings, beating his fellow Englishman 2 and 1 in the final of the World Match Play Championship to claim his first title of 2011. The second-ranked Donald could have risen to No. 1 for the first time, supplanting compatriot Lee Westwood if he'd won the tournament in Andalusia. Poulter, who ousted Westwood in the last 16, was 1 down to his Ryder Cup teammate on three occasions in an error-strewn match, but a 45-foot putt won the 12th hole and birdies on the 14th and 16th sealed Donald's fate.