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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 13:09 GMT
Late surge gives Woods Dubai win
TIger Woods shows off his latest trophy
Will Woods be able to fit this piece of silverware in his trophy cabinet?

(GB & Ire unless stated):

-14 T Woods (US)
-13 M Kaymer (Ger)
-12 E Els (SA), L Oosthuizen (SA)
-10 G McDowell, H Stenson (Swe)

Tiger Woods produced a brilliant run of birdies to win the Dubai Desert Classic by a shot after starting his final round four strokes behind Ernie Els.

Overnight leader Els played an uneven round and needed a birdie on the last to force a play-off with the American.

But his second shot on the par-five 18th plunged into a lake, handing the title to the world number one.

Woods played his last nine holes in six under par to finish with a 66, one shot ahead of Martin Kaymer on 13 under.

The talented 23-year-old German, a winner in Abu Dhabi last week, finished brilliantly, making birdie, birdie, eagle over the last three holes for a final round of 66.

Els's bogey six at the last saw him finish with a one-under 71 on 12-under, where he shared third place with fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen.

It was Oosthuizen who provided all the excitement early in the day.

The 25-year-old, who started his round on Sunday six shots off the pace in a tie for 17th, birdied the first three holes, before tearing into the back nine.

Oosthuizen went eagle, par, birdie, birdie, birdie from the 10th to briefly hold the outright lead at 13-under.

But a bogey six at the last effectively ended his chances.


That left the contest a straight battle between Els and Woods, and the American appeared to have burnt his bridges when dropping back to eight-under with a bogey five at the ninth.

He produced some electric golf over his final nine holes, however.

Starting his run with a birdie four at the 10th, he added three more at 12, 13 and 14, before parring 15 and 16.

Over the closing two holes his putter took on magical qualities.

After overcooking his chip at 17, he faced an uphill putt for birdie from the fringe which he sank to a roar of approval.

He looked likely to have to settle for a par-five at the last, when booming his five-wood approach into thick rough at the back of the green and barely reaching the green with his third shot.

I just got to the green and the putt went in. It's the ideal start to the year going two for two

Tiger Woods

But he then settled over a steep downhill, left-to-right putt from about 20 feet which trickled into the middle of the cup.

Looking back over the last two shots of his round, Woods said: "I could have put that chip right back in the water at 18.

"You have to make your mistakes short and if I leave it short just hit it up and try to make par.

"Then I just got to the green and the putt went in. It's the ideal start to the year going two for two."

Woods had won the previous Sunday in California's Buick Invitational, his first tournament of the year after a 10-week winter break.

His grandstand finished meant Els had to play the last three holes in one-under to force a play-off.

The second shot at 18, it was right where I wanted it, but I could see a gust got it in the air

Ernie Els

The South African parred 16, then hit a wild drive well right on 17, a short par four and a hole he had birdied on each of the previous days.

The result was another par, so Els had to birdie the last.

He hit a good tee shot, but with the green seemingly in range in two, found his approach swallowed up by the water in front of the green.

By then failing to get up and down in two from the drop zone, Els relinquished second spot to Kaymer, whose bid for a Ryder Cup berth is progressing well.

Els, beaten by Woods in a play-off in Dubai in 2006, said: "The second shot at 18, it was right where I wanted it, but I could see a gust got it in the air and it didn't have much of a chance in the end. But it was really right at it."

Kaymer refused to look as far ahead as the Ryder Cup, but added: "I heard from my manager that I can play at Augusta [the Masters] now and that's unbelievable too."



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