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Parnevik edges Woods in SAS Invitational

Jesper Parnevik held off a late charge by Tiger Woods to edge the American 2 and 1 Monday as the Nordic All Stars tied the Rest of the World team 3-3 in the SAS Invitational match play tournament.

Six matches were played simultaneously in the Nordic capitals of Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo. The final six matches in the two-day meet, won last year the by the American-British team, will all be played Tuesday outside Copenhagen.

Parnevik clinched victory over the world's top-ranked player on the 17th hole, as Woods missed a last-gasp putt from about 17 feet on the Ullna course north of the Swedish capital.

Woods, who like Parnevik is coming off a disappointing performance in the Open at Carnoustie, had a cold putter all day.

"I haven't played the course before, but that's no excuse for missing putts," Woods said. "We read the putts the way we thought and just couldn't make them. That's the way it goes sometimes.

"Jesper one-putted the first eight holes and that's tough to beat sometimes. Local knowledge does help."

Woods, who didn't arrive in Sweden until early Monday morning from Scotland, said it wasn't hard to focus after the Open.

"I knew it was a match play situation and it was going to be a lot of fun playing with a good friend of mine," he said. "We went out with that in mind and whatever happened happened, but the main thing was having a whole bunch of fun for the fans."

Parnevik, Sweden's best player ever and a PGA Tour regular, managed to halve the 17th hole despite hitting his tee shot near the water to the left.

With a pair of birch trees close to the left and two other trees to the right, Parnevik made a superb recovery shot through the woodlands. He just missed the green from about 11 yards but chipped in close to the pin from the semi-rough.

Parnevik, who grew up just a short drive from the Ullna course where he plays often when visiting Sweden, holed virtually every putt on the front-9 and was four up after eight holes.

"I've never putted so well in my life," he said. "And I always putt well against Tiger. I probably shot seven under and Tiger shot five under so we had a great match going. If Tiger had holed just a few putts, he could have shot pretty low today."

Woods, playing for the first time in Sweden, started his comeback on the long 13th, where he nearly went up and down from a greenside bunker. They halved the next hole. Parnevik, now three up, lost the 15th when he drove into the trees, hit a branch with his second shot and then chipped over the green from the semi-rough.

In the other match at Ullna, Steve Stricker of the United States took command early and beat Sweden's Patrik Sjöland 5 and 4.

In Oslo, Norway's Per Haugsrud delighted the gallery by beating Colin Montgomerie by one.

Ranked fifth in the world, the Scot should not have any problems beating Haugsrud, who is not among the 100 best players in the world. Lack of motivation was not a reason for losing.

"I did my best effort," Montgomerie said. "In Copenhagen I'll try to do better."

Stewart Cink of the United States, down by three early, rallied to beat Denmark's Thomas Bjørn on the last hole in the other match in Oslo.

In Helsinki, Mark O'Meara of the United States easily beat Anssi Kankkonen of Finland while Sweden's Robert Karlsson defeated Andrew Magee of the United States.

Woods plays Bjørn in the last match on Tuesday.

AP