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Saturday, September 25, 1999 Published at 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK

Woods wins at last

Putting poser: Jiminez and Harrington consider the options

Woods & Pate (US) bt Jimenez & Harrington (Eur) to cut Europe's lead to 8-4

World number one Tiger Woods at last got his Ryder Cup campaign on course, with a first victory at Brookline in Saturday's foursomes.

Woods teamed up with Steve Pate, making his his entrance in the competition, to beat European pair Miguel Angel Jimenez and Padraig Harrington by one hole.

The American began in sensational style and were three-up after the first three holes.

[ image: Tiger Woods wipes his brow as the European pair fight back]
Tiger Woods wipes his brow as the European pair fight back
At that stage the Europeans looked like providing little genuine opposition.

But they pulled their game together and gradually reeled their opponents in, so that it was all-square going into the final holes.

A piece of typical Woods magic proved decisive however, as the USPGA champion holed a 25-footer for a birdie at the 14th - and from there the Americans did not look back.

Woods' victory was vital for his team's flagging chances, after he had lost both his opening matches.

His confidence battered, he requested to play with Pate, who is renowned as one of the most feisty competitors on the US Tour and was given a wildcard by captain Ben Crenshaw because of his fighting spirit.

Tiger roars again

Woods and Pate began in inspired fashion, with birdies at the first two holes as they stormed two-up.

A fantastic approach from Woods to five feet at the first set up a three and Pate sank a 12ft putt at the par-three second for a two.

Jimenez and Harrington were then in deep trouble at the third - and another birdie gave the Americans the hole.

[ image: Steve Pate looks to heavens as the weather intervenes]
Steve Pate looks to heavens as the weather intervenes
The dazzling start continued in the rain when Woods rammed in a 25-footer for another birdie at the fourth - but this time Harrington followed him in from 20 feet for a half.

What could have been a four-hole defecit then looked better for the Europeans when Jimenez struck back to claim a birdie at the sixth to leave the US two-up.

The storm delay halted the match just as Harrington faced a 15ft putt at the eighth to reduce the Americans' lead to just one hole.

And once the clouds had cleared the Irishman returned to the green and sank the putt to give the Europeans a chance in a match that looked to have slipped away from them.

But any hopes the unheralded European pair had of pulling off a shock win were extinguished at the 14th, as Woods sank a 25ft putt for an eagle three to take the Americans back into the lead.

The remaining holes were halved as the US did just enough to wrap up victory.

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