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Sunday, August 29, 1999 Published at 22:22 GMT 23:22 UK

Woods wins again

Tiger Woods plays his second shot to the fourth hole on his way to victory

Tiger Woods consolidated his position as world number one with a one-shot victory in the NEC Invitational World Championship in Akron, Ohio.

The USPGA champion held off a challenge from Phil Mickelson, as America's Ryder Cup contingent punished their European rivals.

Woods, leading by five shots overnight, stayed in front of Mickelson to capture the joint-richest prize in golf.

The left-hander was the only man to answer the challenge thrown down by Woods' flawless third round 62 which had taken him into a dominant position.

[ image: Sergio Garcia feels the frustration as his challenge falters]
Sergio Garcia feels the frustration as his challenge falters
By the time Mickleson, renowned as a wizard of the short game, reached the clubhouse and posted a score of nine-under he had pegged back Woods' lead to just one stroke.

But Woods threw off an uncharacteristic attack of the shakes to ram home a fabulous 15 foot birdie putt at the 17th, after which he went down on his haunches and pumped his fist in delight.

It was the shot which clinched his sixth title of the year, allowing him the luxury of a bogey at the last.

But if Mickelson displayed the full range of his sorcery in his bid to catch Woods the Europeans once again capitulated in abject fashion.

European flops

Only Sergio Garcia from the European team finished under par, the 19-year-old Spaniard going along smoothly until he splashed into the water twice at the par five 16th for a quadruple bogey nine which left him in eighth place on two-under-par.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington was the next best European at level par - but for no-one was the golfing torment worse than for Jose-Maria Olazabal, whose form must be giving Ryder Cup captain Mark James nightmares.

He followed up roller-coaster rounds of level par 70, 80 and 69 with a three-over-par final round of 73, which began with three straight sixes to take him five-over in just three holes.

Final round leaderboard
US unless stated, par 70

Ten-under - T Woods

Nine-under - P Mickelson

Five-under - C Parry (Aus)
N Price (Zim)

Four-under - E Els (SA)

Three-under - S Maruyama (Jpn)

Selected other scores:

Two-under - S Garcia (Spa)

Level - P Harrington (Ire)

Three-over - P Lawrie (Sco)

Seven-over - C Montgomerie (Sco)

Eight-over - A Coltart (Sco)
L Westwood (Eng)

Nine-over - D Clarke (NI)

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Tiger Woods site

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