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Friday, 19 March 2010
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Final Round  (Getty Images)
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Final Round (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods claimed his first ever win in Australia as the World Number One captured the 2009 JBWere Australian Masters title at Kingston Heath on Sunday.

Woods, the joint leader after 54 holes with Australians Greg Chalmers and James Nitties, fired a final round 68 at the historic 6455 metre par 72 layout in Melbourne's renowned sandbelt to prevail by two shots from Chalmers (70) in outright second.

Francois Delamontagne of France elevated himself from amongst the also rans with weekend rounds of 68 and 69 for a share of third place on ten under with American Jason Dufner (70) while Nitties (73) rounded out the top five at minus nine.

Clad in his customary Sunday red, Woods constructed a copybook birdie at the first to signal that Saturday's misadventures, when he carded a frustrating and unsatisfactory 72, were well and truly behind him.

In fine, warm conditions, the 14 time major winner made his move with successive birdies at five and six.

First, he offered his huge gallery the thrills they were craving with a long iron to the pin for a gimme at the 351 metre par four fifth for the outright lead, followed by a pitching wedge to inches at the next for a tap in to extend it.

Woods' most telling shot of the day was at the par five 12th when he smashed a fairway wood from 268 metres to within four metres of the flag, setting up another birdie for a three shot break on his rivals.

A furious Woods blamed an overenthusiastic photographer for his wayward approach which was to cost him a shot at 13 - his one blemish for the round - and a par at the par five 14th was an opportunity lost.

But when he holed a three metre birdie putt at the 142 metre par three 15th, the door was effectively slammed shut on his rivals.

"Yesterday was one of those days," said Woods. "I said yesterday I was thankful I was still in the tournament, but I kept myself in it and it allowed me to go out today and go for the chance to win.

"It was going to be tough today. I had to make some birdies early and I was able to do that and was able to keep it."

The champion was kept honest by Chalmers who managed a couple of early birdies and remained thereabouts despite a dropped shot at the 173 metre par three eighth.

What really hurt the 36 year old, however, was his failure to convert two gilt edged birdie opportunities when he most needed to on the back nine at 14 and 16.

Adam Bland's 67 was the best of Sunday's rounds while two former Masters champions, Craig Spence, the 1999 winner and Aaron Baddeley (2007) both matched Woods' 68.

Defending titleholder Rod Pampling fired a final round 73 to finish equal-14th at minus four overall.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WOODS, TigerUSA18-14
2CHALMERS, GregAUS18-12
T3DUFNER, JasonUSA18-10
T3DELAMONTAGNE, FrançoisFRA18-10
5NITTIES, JamesAUS18-9
T6SCOTT, AdamAUS18-8
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