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Tiger Woods wins Dunlop Phoenix in playoff

Tiger Woods beat Japan's Kaname Yokoo in a playoff to successfully defend his title at the $1.7 million Dunlop Phoenix tournament on Sunday.

Woods picked up the $350,000 first prize after birdying the fourth extra hole, the par-five 18th. Yokoo hit his second shot into the trees right of the green and could only make par after missing a 12-foot putt.

World number one Woods carded three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey for a closing two-over 72. Yokoo had six birdies and five bogeys in a rollercoaster 69. Woods and Yokoo finished on eight-under 272, two shots ahead of American Jim Furyk (73) on a cold, overcast and occasionally wet day. "It was a long see-saw day," Woods told reporters. "Kaname was there, Jim was there and I was there. It was just a matter of who was going to blink first.

"I thought I'd made it at 15 (after chipping in from the rough) but Kaname birdied 16 and 18. Hats off to him. What a tremendous effort he put in today."

Woods's win could cost him a place in this week's PGA Grand Slam in Hawaii after he aggravated an injury to his left ankle on the first playoff hole.

"It's been hurting for about a month now," he said. "It's just wear and tear from a long season and a lot of practice.

"As far as the Grand Slam goes, I don't know. If I can't go, then I can't go. If I can, then I'll play."

After Woods sank a 12-foot par putt on the first extra hole after finding trouble in the trees, both players birdied the second and third playoff holes.

Woods, who held a one-stroke lead over Furyk after the third round, had started the regulation 18 holes with a birdie at the first.

But he was pegged back by a bogey at the second and a double bogey at the par-three third where he found sand off the tee and splashed his recovery attempt into the rough.

The 30-year-old American dropped another stroke at the eighth on the way to an outward 38 before getting a shot back on the inward nine.

Yokoo held a two-stroke advantage over Woods and Furyk at the turn.

But the Japanese player, who has not won since the 2002 Dunlop Phoenix, struggled on the back nine. He bogeyed the 12th, 13th and 14th and three times missed within four feet.

Woods regained the lead with an unusual birdie at the par-five 13th which came courtesy of a chip and a putt after his drive had struck a spectator.

Yokoo holed out from a bunker at the 14th to draw level with Woods but the world number one chipped in from the rough for a birdie at the next while Yokoo bogeyed.

The Japanese player bounced back by birdying the 16th and 18th to force the playoff.

U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell tied for 13th place on one-over 281 while Europe's 2005 order of merit winner Colin Montgomerie was down in 46th place on 290.

 

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