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Love claims title with closing 64

Davis Love III realized he was mostly an afterthought for the final round of the Williams World Challenge.

Playing in the twosome in front of Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia and the throng of fans following them, Love went rather quietly around the course today, overtaking the two pacesetters with his second 8-under-par 64 of the tournament and winning by two shots over Woods.

"I knew when I walked off the course Saturday that it was a two-man race in the fans' minds. I said, 'I'll just play with Freddie (Couples) and have some fun,' " Love, who began the day four shots behind Garcia and three back of Woods, said after he finished at 22-under 266.

Woods shot 69 to finish at 20-under for 72 holes over the Sherwood Country Club course.

Garcia, who had held the lead or shared it with Woods since shooting a first-round 65, faded to finish third, with his 73 leaving him five shots back of Love.

Woods, the tournament host, couldn't muster a run after Love took the lead on the 10th hole.

"It just wasn't to be. At least I made it interesting with a few birdies, but Davis just had it going,'' Woods said. "He has been playing well, and he will be able to get over that hump.

"He shot two 64s; that says something.''

Garcia and Wood both cautioned after the third round that Love -- who was the only player near them -- wasn't out of the picture.

"I said that Davis was playing really well but not making any putts, so I knew that he would be there,'' Garcia said. "But I really didn't expect him to shoot a 64.''

Getting his putter going after struggling on the greens during his third-round 71, Love rolled in a 10-footer for eagle on No. 11, then sank another 10-footer for birdie on No. 15.

He had a bogey-free round, with six birdies and the eagle.

"After missing quite a few putts yesterday, I really didn't miss a whole lot today,'' he said.

The win in the made-for-television event was worth $1 million to Love, who has gone more than two years without winning a PGA Tour event.

Love, whose 13 PGA Tour victories include the 1997 PGA Championship, began the day at 14-under. He took his first lead of the tournament with a 5-foot birdie putt on the 385-yard, par-4 No. 10 to go to 18-under. He padded his lead to two shots with his eagle on the 522-yard, par-5 No. 11, and stayed at least two shots in front of Woods the rest of the way.

Garcia and Woods seesawed on the lead through the first nine holes of the final round. Woods drew even with a birdie on the first hole, then Garcia moved a shot in front with a birdie on No. 2.

Garcia bogeyed three consecutive holes beginning on No. 6, including hitting his drive on No. 7 into the clump of rocks in the middle of the fairway. Woods moved two shots ahead of Garcia when he went to 18-under with a birdie on No. 9.

As the two front-runners hovered around par for the day, Love closed the gap with three birdies on the front nine, then moved ahead when Garcia parred and Woods bogeyed No. 10.

Garcia, whose round included two eagles, also had three bogeys and finally took himself out of it with a double-bogey 5 on No. 17 that dropped him five shots behind Love.

Couples finished fourth with a 68 to go to 12-under. David Duval's 65 put him fifth at 10-under.

Tom Lehman, who won the inaugural Williams World Challenge in Scottsdale, Ariz., in January, finished tied for sixth this time with Vijay Singh at 8-under. Justin Leonard was next at 5-under, followed by Stewart Cink at 2-under.

Jesper Parnevik finished at 1 under and Hal Sutton at 1 over. Mark O'Meara finished 12th at 3 over, but still earned $120,000 -- the last-place money in the $3.5 million tournament.

The tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, which in turn benefits youth programs. Woods donated his second-place check of $500,000 to the foundation.

Davis Love III, $1,000,00067-64-71-64-266 -22

Tiger Woods, $500,000 68-64-67-69-268 -20

Sergio Garcia, $350,000 65-64-69-73-271 -17

Fred Couples, $275,00068-72-68-68-276 -12

David Duval, $250,000 75-70-68-65-278 -10

Tom Lehman, $212,50070-70-72-68-280 -8
Vijay Singh, $212,500 66-76-67-71-280 -8

Justin Leonard, $175,00073-74-66-70-283 -5

Stewart Cink, $150,00079-70-70-67-286 -2

Jesper Parnevik, $130,000 72-72-71-72-287 -1

Hal Sutton, $125,00074-73-73-69-289 +1

Mark O'Meara, $120,00075-68-76-72-291 +3
 

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