Tiger Back in the Winner's Circle

  • August 3, 2009, 11:40 AM

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Tiger Woods cruised to his easiest victory of the year, getting away with an awful round to open the Buick Open and an average one to hold off a weak field.

His competition and the courses he's going to play are about to get much tougher.

Woods shot a 3-under 69 and coasted to a three-shot victory with a 20-under 268 total at Warwick Hills, which hosted its first Buick Open in 1958 and seemed to stage its final one Sunday.

Woods, whose previous three wins this year were each by one shot, spent much of Sunday ahead by two before he took a three-stroke lead with the birdie at No. 16.

His businesslike final round included three birdies and no bogeys and he won without trailing in the final round for the first time since Bay Hill in 2008.

He will play at the Bridgestone Invitational this week before going to Hazeltine for the PGA Championship, his final chance to win a major this year. He scheduled himself to compete in two straight tournaments going into a major for the first time in his career.

"I feel good," Woods said. "The win helps."

Woods won the Buick Open for a third time and claimed his 69th PGA Tour victory, but the end-of-an-era feel made it more than a ho-hum experience.

"I've played all around the world, and I've never seen a day like this," said Woods, also the 2002 and 2006 winner at Warwick Hills. "This event has always been special, but today was something else."

Melky Hits for Cycle in Yankees Win

CHICAGO (AP) -- Melky Cabrera became the first Yankee in 14 years to hit for the cycle, leading New York to an 8-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday afternoon.

Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the second to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead, doubled in the fourth and chased Mark Buehrle (11-5) with an RBI single in the fifth. He then tripled to right leading off the ninth against Scott Linebrink , drawing a loud roar from a crowd that had showered Buehrle with cheers before his first start at home since his perfect game.

This time, the fans saw something rare happen at the plate.

Cabrera's cycle was the 15th time a Yankees player has accomplished the feat. The cycle was the first by a Yankee since Tony Fernandez did it against Oakland on Sept. 3, 1995, and the second by a White Sox opponent in as many seasons. Minnesota's Carlos Gomez did it against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 7, 2008.

Martinez Leads Red Sox to Victory

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The addition of Victor Martinez to the Boston Red Sox lineup has proven to be mutually beneficial to the team and its grateful newcomer.

Martinez had a career-high tying five hits and four RBIs, Josh Reddick and Rocco Baldelli homered, and the Red Sox reached season highs in runs and hits Sunday in a 18-10 rout of the Baltimore Orioles .

Eight different players had multiple hits for the Red Sox , although no one was as productive as Martinez. Obtained from Cleveland on Friday before the non-waiver trade deadline, Martinez singled in a run in the second inning, got two hits in a seven-run fourth, singled in the sixth and added an RBI double in the eighth.

''I'm honored to be on this side now,'' said Martinez, who now finds himself in the middle of a pennant race. ''It's not the same when you're playing and you fall way back in the standings. Just coming over here to a team that is competing every year...''

Martinez joined the team Saturday and was immediately inserted in the No. 3 spot behind Dustin Pedroia and ahead of Kevin Youkilis . After getting an RBI in his debut, the newcomer went wild Sunday.

''Boy, he swung the bat great. Immediate impact,'' Boston manager Terry Francona said. ''I think you're seeing one of the better hitters in the league with some renewed excitement.''

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