Monday, 10 August 2009

Woods wins as Harrington crumbles







FINAL-ROUND LEADERBOARD:-12 T Woods (US) -8 P Harrington (Ire), R Allenby (Aus) -7 H Mahan (US), A Cabrera (Arg) -6 S Stricker (US), S Cink (US), MA Jimenez (Spa) -5 L Westwood (Eng), M Weir (Can) Selected others: -3 O Wilson (Eng), K Perry (US) -2 I Poulter (Eng)



Tiger Woods capitalised on a disastrous finish by Padraig Harrington to win the World Golf Championship by four shots.
The world number one started the day three shots behind clubhouse-leader Harrington but gained ground after holing an eagle and five birdies.
Harrington led with three holes to play but saw his hopes disappear in dramatic fashion at the par-five 16th hole.
After both he and Woods were warned for slow play, the Irishman carded a triple bogey and finished four shots adrift.
Woods, who birdied the 16th thanks to a superb eight iron to within inches of the pin, finished on 12 under to seal his seventh victory in the event but admitted the decision of European Tour chief referee John Paramor to put the pair on the clock had been telling.
"I'm sorry that John got in the way of a great battle because it was such a great battle for 16 holes," said the 33-year-old American.
"We're going at it head-to-head and unfortunately that happened.
"I think being on the clock influenced Paddy. I'm sure he would have taken a lot more time on his third shot to try to figure out how to play it, where to place the next one."
Harrington, who had led for the first three rounds in Ohio, led by a stroke with three holes to play before his round collapsed.
I'm sorry that John got in the way of a great battle because it was such a great battle for 16 holes
Tiger Woods
He effectively sealed his fate when he sent his fourth shot at the 16th into the pond guarding the green and admitted Paramor's intervention had knocked out of his "comfort zone".
"When you're out of position, it's difficult to be on the clock," said the three-times major winner, who eventually finished tied for second place with Australian Robert Allenby.
"I was out of position on the tee shot, second shot and third shot. I was in trouble every time and it just puts a little bit of added doubt into the equation.
"It certainly knocked me out of my comfort zone, but there are rules. The players make the rules and we've got to apply them."
While on the clock, players must play their shots within an allocated time or risk an initial warning followed by a $5,000 (£2,995) fine and a one-shot penalty for a second offence.
Responding to criticism from Woods, Paramor defended his decision.
"Padraig and Tiger's group were 13 minutes over time through 11 holes," he said in statement.

"We could have put them on the clock at the 13th but we opted to cut them a bit of slack due to problems up at the 16th green at that time."
A crumb of comfort to Harrington may be the fact he has chance to exact revenge when he pairs up with Woods in the first two rounds of the USPGA Championship, which begins on Thursday at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.
Elsewhere, England's Lee Westwood closed at five under for ninth place following a 65 to secure his fourth consecutive top-10 finish, including a tie for third at The Open.
Compatriot Oliver Wilson finished 11th at three under with a closing 71, while Ian Poulter was 15th.
Hunter Mahan and Masters champion Angel Cabrera finished on seven under in a tie for fourth.
Open winner Stewart Cink and fellow American Steve Stricker closed at six under alongside Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.

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