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Woods looks like old self in first win in two years

Mon., Dec. 5, 2011

Tiger Woods holds his trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge. (Associated Press)
Tiger Woods holds his trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge. (Associated Press)

Two years after his life and career came crashing down, Tiger Woods is a winner again.

One shot behind with two holes to play, Woods finally looked like the player who dominated golf for so much of his career. He birdied his last two holes Sunday, making a 6-foot putt on the 18th, to win the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson.

Woods closed with a 3-under 69, sweeping his arm when the final putt dropped, then slamming down his first in celebration. It had been 749 days and 26 official tournaments since he last won on Nov. 15, 2009 at the Australian Masters, back when he looked as though he would rule golf as long as he played.

But he crashed his car into a fire hydrant outside his Florida home on Thanksgiving night, and shocking revelations of extramarital affairs began to emerge, which eventually led to a divorce. Since then, he has changed swing coaches and endured more injuries, missing two majors this summer and missing the cut in another.

Now, however, it looks clear that Woods is on an upward path.

This was his 83rd win worldwide, and the fifth time he has captured the Chevron World Challenge, which he hosts for his foundation. Woods finished at 10-under 278 and donated the $1.2 million to his foundation.

Johnson finished with a 71. Paul Casey (69) was third at 5 under in the 18-player event.

• It turns out that Woods won the last edition of the Chevron World Challenge.

Chevron has decided not to renew its title sponsorship of the tournament that Woods hosts at Sherwood Country Club to benefit his foundation. The company had been the title sponsor for four years.

Tournament director Greg McLaughlin says he feels confident that he will be able to find another title sponsor. The tournament has had three title sponsors since it began in 1999.

Meanwhile, McLaughlin says Sherwood Country Club has extended its contract to host the tournament through 2015.

Hong Kong Open

Rory McIlroy rallied to win the Hong Kong Open, holing out from a greenside bunker on the final hole for a 5-under 65 and a two-stroke victory.

The 22-year-old U.S. Open champion finished at 12-under 268 on the Fanling Course. France’s Gregory Havret also closed with a 65 to finish second.

Nedbank Challenge

England’s Lee Westwood won the Nedbank Golf Challenge for the second straight year, closing with a 1-over 73 for a two-stroke victory over Sweden’s Robert Karlsson in Sun City, South Africa.

The third-ranked Westwood, seven strokes ahead after a 62 on Saturday, had a 15-under 273 total on the Gary Player Country Club course. He earned $1.25 million in the 12-player event.

Karlsson finished with a 68.

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