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Tuesday, August 3, 1999 Published at 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK

Woods beats Duval in top-two showdown

Duval sends a drive up the fairway, watched by an expectant Woods (right)

Tiger Woods lived up to his billing as the world's number one golfer, with victory over second-ranked David Duval in a one-off matchplay showdown in California.

Woods triumphed two-and-one in the special made-for-TV event at the Sherwood Country Club at Thousand Oaks.

The "Showdown at Sherwood" was designed to settle the argument over which of the American pair - who have disputed the number one spot all season - is the best player in the world.

Woods earned $1.1m for winning the live prime-time network telecast, with Duval picking up $400,000.

Both players have agreed to donate $200,000 to charity.

Good-natured contest

Woods insisted he felt he had nothing to prove going into the head-to-head.

[ image: Woods sees a birdie putt roll by the hole at the 17th - but par proved enoughj]
Woods sees a birdie putt roll by the hole at the 17th - but par proved enoughj
"I approached the match that Dave and I are great friends and we're going to come out here and have a lot of fun and hopefully put on a great show," he said.

"The crowds were unbelievable, they really supported me and David."

Woods lost the first two holes but hit back to win four of the next six.

And once he was in front, he never relinquished the lead.

Woods played smart, conservative golf on the back nine to hold off a late challenge from Duval, who cut his opponent's lead to just one hole with a birdie four at the 16th.

Percentage golf

But Woods hit back to take the next hole with par and re-establish his two-hole advantage.

"That really kind of hurt," said Duval. "It was really tight, but to give away a hole like that and get a dormy, that kind of ended it."

[ image: Friends again: Duval congratulates Woods on his $1.1m victory]
Friends again: Duval congratulates Woods on his $1.1m victory
Woods was now able to close out the contest at the 17th, leaving a 35-foot birdie putt 18 inches short, before the hole was halved to give him victory.

Duval, who had to fly across the country early on Monday after playing the final round of the Greater Hartford Open on Sunday, said fatigue was not a factor in his defeat.

"As much as anything, it was a lack of proper execution," he said.

"I just didn't play as well as I would have like to."

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