Vijay Singh stood alone, as the contenders imploded on the back nine, to take the Chevron World Challenge, hosted by, but minus Tiger Woods. Singh sniffed the 1.35 million dollar winner's check and shot a smooth 67 to finish at -11. Anthony Kim had the lead after birdieing the 13th hole, but two double bogeys down the stretch did him in. A similar fate befell Jim Furyk, who bogeyed three of his last five and threw in a double on 18 for good measure. Steve Stricker birdied two of his last three, but Vijay answered with an 18th hole birdie to seal the deal. That capped a back nine 32 for Singh and earned him the moolah.
That's a wrap on the 2008 season and begins the Tiger watch for 2009 to see which tournament he chooses to make his return in after season ending knee surgery. My guess would be Arnie's event in March at Bay Hill, but I certainly don't profess to know anything. I don't care how you feel about Woods, there's no denying it's not the same tour without him. His absence however has created a stage for some young guns, i.e. Kim, Mahan, Villegas, etc., to realize more of their potential. The tour could use them to challenge Woods after his comeback and add some viewers. That storyline will be fascinating and should play out rather quickly. Don't expect Woods to surface until he's confident he can win the event that heralds his return.
It's been an uneven PGA Tour year highlighted by Woods' spectacular US Open win and his winning four of the six events he entered. Padraig Harrington's two major championships and well deserved Player of the Year honors stand out as classic performances. Still, when all the trophies and accolades have been handed out, Vijay Singh went home with the most cash.