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Woods & Duval secure title for USA

Tiger Woods made it sound as though David Duval single-handedly won the EMC World Cup of Golf for the United States.

Woods did his part, too, with the most spectacular shot of the day.

With host Argentina making a run while cheered on by thousands of spectators, Woods sank a 40-foot birdie putt at the 11th hole today to give the U.S. team a cushion it wouldn't relinquish en route to a three-stroke victory and the $1 million top prize.

"David played great all week, and he really carried us,'' Woods said. "I only made one putt. Other than that, I didn't feel like I did much of anything."

That putt was significant.

Woods and Duval entered the day with a three-stroke lead over Argentina's Eduardo Romero and Angel Carbera. That had been whittled to one shot when the Americans got to the par-3, 146-yard 11th hole.

Duval's tee shot, perhaps caught by heavy winds, carried well left of the pin. Woods, playing next in the alternate-shot format, calmly sank the slightly downhill putt to build a two-stroke lead.

Argentina then bogeyed the 13th and 14th holes and never challenged again.

"Other than that I didn't think I did much of anything,'' Woods said. "I thought we struck the ball well today but I didn't putt so well. My partner over here bailed me out time and time again. Thank goodness that he was there because I didn't hit good putts -- I either ran wide or left them short.''

Woods and Duval combined to shoot a 4-under-par 68 today, finishing at 34-under 254 for the tournament. It was the 23rd U.S. title in 46 World Cups and the second in a row for Woods, who teamed with Mark O'Meara last year.

While Woods struggled in the early rounds, Duval kept the team in contention with his long drives and precision putting.

They combined for six birdies in the final round.

Twenty-four nations competed in the event, which mixed alternate-shot and better-ball play. Players had to deal with blustery winds, searing temperatures, and threats of rain today.

The ninth hole, a 495-yard par 5, brought a surprise bogey for the U.S. team. Duval pushed his tee shot right, with the ball finishing in the hazard but not in the water. Woods tried to hack the ball up and out over an embankment, but instead it ended up bouncing back into in the water. Woods said he simply slipped: "I took the club back on my left foot, I flinched. I hit it fat and made it airborne.'' Duval then took a penalty drop and knocked the team's fourth shot on the green. The duo two-putted from there for a bogey-6.

Romero eagled that hole for Argentina, sending up the biggest roar of the day. The Argentines birdied 15 and 17, but it wasn't enough as the U.S. team birdied the 14th and then closed with four straight pars.

Romero and Cabrera finished with 68 on the day for a 257. Paraguay's Carlos Franco, a PGA Tour regular, joined with Esteban Isasi to take third place after a final round 67 for a 265.

Japan's Shigeki Maruyama and Hidejmichi Tanaka were fourth at 266, with Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Gary Orr two strokes back.

Last year, Woods teamed with O'Meara to win in Malaysia by five strokes over Spain. Woods also carried the individual title last year by nine strokes with a 21-under 263, both tournament records. This year, the individual portion of the tournament was eliminated.

The United States has dominated the tournament over the past decade. Fred Couples and Davis Love III won four straight titles between 1992 and 1995.

But the U.S. team didn't gain the upper hand this week until Saturday's third round, which used the better-ball format.

Asked if the pair would defend their title next year in Japan, Duval said it would be up to Woods to decide.

"Unless he misses cuts for the next two straight years, he's going to stay ranked No. 1. So it is up to him to (pick) a partner,'' Duval said.

Added Woods: "I would love to team up with David, if everything works out. We'll see what happens.''

 

Tiger Woods/David Duval, USA, $1,000,00061-65-60-68-25434-under

Angel Cabrera/Eduardo Romero, Argentina, $500,000 57-67-65-68-25731-under

Carlos Daniel Franco/Esteban Isasi, Paraguay, $300,00064-66-68-67-26523-under

Shigeki Maruyama/Hidemichi Tanaka, Japan, $150,00060-71-67-68-26622-under

Paul Lawrie/Gary Orr, Scotland, $115,00064-69-65-70-26820-under

Pierre Fulke/Mathias Gronberg, Sweden, $100,000 64-70-63-72-26919-under
Frank Nobilo/Greg Turner, New Zealand, $80,00057-67-65-80-269

Miguel Angel Jimenez/Jose Maria Olazabal, Spain, $80,00063-69-67-71-27018-under
Alex Cejka/Thomas Gogele, Germany, $80,00062-69-66-73-270

Padraig Harrington/Paul McGinley, Ireland, $57,50064-66-66-75-27117-under
Mike Weir/Glen Hnatiuk, Canada, $57,500 61-72-62-76-271

Retief Goosen/Darren Fichardt, South Africa, $45,00065-72-66-69-27216-under
Mark McNulty/Tony Johnstone, Zimbabwe, $45,00062-72-67-71-272
Peter O'Malley/Lucas Parsons, Australia, $45,00058-70-69-75-272

Phillip Price/Ian Woosnam, Wales, $39,000 68-64-67-74-27315-under

Jamie Spence/Brian Davis, Britain, $38,00066-69-70-69-27414-under

Chawalit Plaphol/Thammanoon Spiroj, Thailand, $36,500 63-70-66-78-27711-under

Kwang-Soo Choi/Nam-Sin Park, South Korea, $36,500 61-72-66-79-27810-under

Stephen Ames/Robert Ames, Trinidad & Tobago, $35,00068-67-67-77-2799-under

Jean Van de Velde/Thomas Levet, France, $34,000 62-72-70-76-2808-under

Mikael Piltz/Kalle Vainola, Finland, $33,00068-70-70-73-2817-under

Jesus Amaya/Gustavo Mendoza, Colombia, $32,00066-67-72-79-2844-under

Danny Chia/Rashid Ishmail, Malaysia, $31,00070-74-71-81-2968-over

Miguel Martinez/Cipriano Castro, Venezuela, $30,000 67-81-68-84-30012-over

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