The Frys.com Open brought the first PGA Tour win for Bryce Molder, who joined the tour in 2002. But the tournament was also memorable for Tiger Woods, who played well — and survived having a hot dog thrown at him on the putting green.
Molder holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th that got him into a playoff with Briny Baird. Molder then outlasted Baird on the sixth extra hole, the longest playoff on tour this year, by making a 6-foot birdie putt.
Woods hadn’t played on the PGA Tour since the middle of August, when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship amid growing questions about whether he could get his game back to where it once was, or even come close to that standard.
His golf looked much improved. Because of injuries to his left leg this year that are finally healed, Woods has played less than a dozen full rounds since the Masters. None were as unusual as Sunday’s, when a man rushed the green and threw a hot dog at Woods.
The incident occurred on the seventh green, as Woods eyed a putt that could have given him a birdie on the hole. Suddenly the silence was broken by a man yelling “Tiger! Tiger!” and jogging onto the green — following the weiner he’d just launched in Woods’ direction.
“When I looked up, the hot dog was already in the air,” Woods said. “The bun was kind of disintegrating.”
As the man proceeded onto the green, he went to his knees and lay face-down on the grass, with security personnel rapidly approaching.
When Woods finished his round with a birdie, any seriousness of the incident gave way to levity. Dan Diggins, head of security for tournament sponsor Frys Electronics, said the man would be arrested for “everything” and described him as “just an idiot.”
“It wasn’t a chili dog,” Diggins said. “That could have been really bad.”
The man, whose name has not been released, was charged with a misdemeanor. Officials say he offered no motive for his actions.
Arjun Atwal, who played with Woods, said he was concerned for a moment at the sight of a fan yelling out Woods’ name and approaching the green.
“That guy could have got shot, the way he ran out with that hot dog,” Atwal said of the intruder. “The cops could have thought it was something else.”
“It was bizarre,” said Rod Pampling, who also played with Woods. “This guy comes running out with a hot dog in his hand, and then he lays down and puts his hands behind his back.”
In the four days of the Frys.com Open, Woods overcame a sloppy opening 73 with three straight 68s — the first time he has had three rounds in a row in the 60s in more than a year on the PGA Tour. That amounted to progress, but it didn’t move Woods up the leaderboard. He finished 10 shots behind in a tie for 30th in what will be his final PGA Tour event of the year.