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Sunday, 19 November 2000
Tiger Woods claimed the 2001 Johnnie Walker Classic – and his tenth title of a marvellous year - at the Alpine Golf and Sports Club, Bangkok, closing with his third successive 65 for a 25-under-par total 263.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy repeated his runner-up spot from the 2000 tournament with a splendid final round of 64, to finish three strokes adrift, while Kiwi Michael Campbell made a stout defence of his title, taking third place on 18-under-par.

However it was another demonstration of Woods’ mastery in the year 2000, in which he won three of the four major championships, one World Golf Championship event and five other regular US PGA Tour events. The Johnnie Walker Classic represented his tenth victory of the year and confirmed his status as the world’s undisputed number one golfer.

Woods, who beat Ernie Els in a play-off to land the title in 1998, began the week with a 68 to trail Australian Wayne Smith by three strokes, but thereafter he moved into overdrive and reeled off three consecutive rounds of 65, seven under par, to leave the field in his slipstream.

Campbell, with a course record 63 in the third round, made a bold attempt to stay in touch with the American while Ogilvy’s closing 64 for 266 ensured that he finished runner-up for the second year in a row, four strokes ahead of Campbell.

Paul Lawrie, the 1999 Open champion, was the leading European, sharing fourth spot with another Australian, Rodney Pampling – the player who led Lawrie’s Open at Carnoustie after the first round but missed the halfway cut. Lawrie had four rounds in the sixties to record his highest finish since occupying the same position in the Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the year.

Jesper Parnevik, who pulled out of the American Express Championship the previous week due to illness, finished with a 70 to tie Smith for sixth place.

World number one Woods began the final day three shots clear and although first Campbell and then Ogilvy briefly closed the gap to two, the 24-year-old never looked in any trouble in a flawless display.

Campbell was the first to try and challenge Woods' superiority with four early birdies helping close the gap by one to two shots after seven holes. But the Kiwi's challenge disappeared at the ninth when he missed the green and failed to get up and down from a tricky lie in the thick rough and Woods made birdie from six feet to establish a four-shot lead.

Minutes later it was five shots as Woods birdied the 10th and Campbell missed from closer in after his approach had almost pitched in the hole. It was down to Ogilvy to take up the chase and birdies at the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th closed the gap briefly to two shots.

But Woods, playing in the group behind, always had something in hand and birdies on the 14th - where his eagle chip stopped millimetres short of the hole - the 16th and the 17th kept him clear to repeat his 1998 triumph in this event.

"I played well," said Woods with typical understatement after regaining the title he won two years ago and maintaining his 100% record in Thailand.

He also made his first cut in a professional tournament while still an amateur here in 1994. "It was a very good day. I went out there with the intention of shooting 65 because if I did Michael (Campbell) would have to shoot 62 and that is what I did almost exactly to the plan.

"Michael played well early on and made a lot of birdies and then Geoff got into it by playing extremely well and I had to make a couple of birdies.

"It's always special to win in Thailand because it's my mother's home country and part of my culture and heritage. It was great to get such a warm reception and see family and friends out there watching.

"The golf course was playing on the short side because it was so hot - it's not often I have a three-quarter wedge from 150 yards - and all the players took advantage of that. Now I have got three more tournaments to go this year and hopefully I can keep it going."

Ogilvy, the 23-year-old from Melbourne, said: "I have never started the weekend being two behind, shot 67, 64 and lost by three.

"It's ridiculous and that was as good as I could have played. All credit to Tiger, he is the best, he is the king.

"My goal was to win the tournament, to shoot low and to actually make him have to play and at least we did that. To shoot a 64 and chase Tiger on the back nine, making birdie for birdie, that was a fantastic feeling.

"I thought at the 10th that 23-under would be good enough, but in the end he is just too good. Second is a good way to start the Australian and European season and finishing second to Tiger is almost like winning away. It's just disappointing that he was here!"

Campbell added: "I targeted around 63 or 64 to have a chance of winning, but it obviously would not have been good enough anyway.

"I had a chance for a while, but made bogey on the ninth and 12th and it was pretty much game over then."

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