Sunday, 24 February 2008

Tiger Woods stayed on course for his 15th individual World Golf Championships title when he finished the opening 18 holes of the WGC - Accenture Match Play four up against compatriot Stewart Cink.

The World Number One was in imperious form at The Gallery Golf Club at Dove Mountain on the outskirts of Tucson and did not drop a shot to par in the morning round until an untidy final hole just before lunch was halved in bogey five.

A birdie at the second hole saw Woods immediately move ahead and when he added further birdies at the fifth and seventh holes, the Number One seed and strong favourite for the title moved three holes up at the turn.

On the inward half, Woods pressed home his advantage with further birdies at the tenth and 11th holes to move five holes to the good, sparking fears that the afternoon section of the final might turn into somewhat of a non event for the television networks who were frantically searching for items to fill potential hours of spare air time.

Cink, however, did them a favour when a birdie three reduced his deficit to four at the 12th, a margin which quickly became three holes when he rolled in a fine 24 footer for a winning birdie two at the 16th.

But just as Woods did in his Saturday afternoon semi-final with Henrik Stenson when the Swede won the 16th hole, he immediately responded with a winning birdie four at the 601 yard 17th, coming up short of the green in two before pitching virtually stone dead to restore his four hole lead.

Cink had a chance to reduce the deficit before lunch after Woods found fairway sand from the tee and greenside sand with his second shot on way to a bogey five. But the four time US PGA Tour winner pulled his approach shot to the back of the green and three putted to make his own bogey five.

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