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Last Updated: Monday, 7 March, 2005, 02:12 GMT
Woods returns as world number one
Tiger Woods has now won two events this season
US unless stated
-24 T Woods
-23 P Mickelson
-19 V Singh (Fij), Z Johnson
-17 D Toms
-16 JM Olazabal (Sp), C Parry
Tiger Woods reclaimed his place as world number one after beating Phil Mickelson by one shot to win the Ford Championship at Doral in Florida.

Woods trailed Mickelson by two strokes going into the final round in Miami but carded a 66 to end on 24 under par.

Mickelson was still one up at the turn but Woods fired a eagle at the 12th and a birdie at the 17th to take the lead.

Woods had held top spot for a record 264 straight weeks before losing the honour to Vijay Singh last September.

Singh, who was number one for 26 weeks, fired a final-round 68 to end on 19 under with Zach Johnson.

Masters champion Mickelson did not roll over for his playing partner, and his back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th brought the two rivals level.

Both players carded their only bogeys of the day at the 16th, Mickelson missing from just five feet, before Woods took control with a brilliant 28ft birdie putt at the 17th.

There was yet more drama at the last as Mickelson's superb chip - a shot that could have forced a play-off - lipped out of the hole.

Mickelson came agonisingly close to forcing a play-off at the 18th
Mickelson came agonisingly close to forcing a play-off
Woods held his nerve to stroke in a 6ft putt for a thrilling win.

The victory was Woods' second tournament win of the season after his January triumph at the Buick Invitational.

"The whole day, we were going at each other," said Woods.

"It was fun to be a part of that.

"I just felt like I had to keep making birdies - pars just weren't going to get it done.

"Starting out the day, Phil had all the pressure on him. He's got a two-shot lead and he's been playing well all year, everyone was kind of looking at him to go out and win the tournament.

"But he was going to have to play really well and I went out there and played really well myself."

Woods earned $990,000 (515,000) and a sports car for the win, but promised to give the car to caddie Steve Williams after he recovered from injuries sustained in a car accident.

Mickelson, who has lost every time he has gone up against Woods in a final round, was annoyed he let the tournament slip.
It was a great slap in the face
Phil Mickelson

"It was great for him he won but it sucks for me I lost," said Mickelson.

"I really thought I was going to win, I could have won, I should have won. I just hope I have another shot soon.

"I loved the competition - I'm just a little ticked at myself that I didn't win.

"I loved the fact he was playing his best. I wanted the chance to beat him at his best, I'm just disappointed I didn't do it.

World rankings
1. Tiger Woods (USA)
2. Vijay Singh (Fiji)
3. Ernie Els (South Africa)
4. Phil Mickleson (USA)
5. Retief Goosen (South Africa)

"This was probably the best thing that could happen to me heading to the majors because I felt like I was playing better than everybody and just knew I was going to win today.

"When I didn't it was a great slap in the face because I'm going to work my tail off to salvage a couple of more shots."


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