Golf: Only Woods survives cull of world elite

TIGER WOODS survived the continuing upsets in the second round of the Andersen Consulting World Matchplay Championship to become the only player from the top 10 seeds remaining in the event. Bob Tway, having seen putts rim the hole on the previous two holes, had another at the last to extend his match with Woods to extra holes, which looked on all the way until its last roll took it to the left.

While Woods plays on, against Stewart Cink in this morning's third round, David Duval lost to Bill Glasson and Vijay Singh, Nick Price and Justin Leonard also went the way of the likes of Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood on Wednesday. The next highest remaining seed after Woods is the No 12, Phil Mickelson, who defeated the double US Open champion, Lee Janzen.

"Wow," exclaimed Woods when told he was the only top-10 player left in the field. "But it doesn't surprise me. The field is so deep and anything can happen over 18 holes. To be in the field you have to be a quality player and you have to have won some tournaments. I was fortunate to squeak by in today's match."

Greg Norman must have had every expectation of progressing when he was three up with four to play against Eduardo Romero. But the Australian, whose long career is littered with examples of the art of grasping defeat from the jaws of victory, did so again.

Romero, who beat Westwood in the first round, won with a birdie two at the third extra hole, having let the Shark off the hook when Norman drove out of bounds at the 20th hole.

Leonard, who at one point had to hole a bunker shot to half a hole, lost 4 and 2 to Shigeki Maruyama, the Japanese player who was unbeaten in December's Presidents Cup. Singh came up against an unstoppable Bernhard Langer. The German was six under, and the fact that Singh only lost 2 and 1 shows the Fijian was also on his game.

Only four Europeans remain after seven others, including all five Britons, went home on Wednesday but Thomas Bjorn was the only casualty yesterday, the Dane losing 2 and 1 to Andrew Magee. If Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal, who beat Michael Bradley 2 and 1, are experienced Ryder Cup players, Patrik Sjoland is not. His victory at the last over Carlos Franco suggests he should be in the future.

Sjoland was three down with seven to play, but the quality of his approach play from there on was of the very highest order. He hit a seven-iron to 18 inches to win the 12th, a nine-iron to three feet to win the 15th, squared the match by holing from 20 feet at the 17th and hit a six-iron from 170 yards to less than a foot at the last.

"That stretch is definitely the best I have ever played," the 27-year- old Swede said. "I knew it would take my best golf ever over the last seven holes to win and I managed it."

Sjoland, who finished fifth on the European Order of Merit last season, added he was not feeling any jet-lag after travelling from Qatar, where he shot a 65 in the last round. As well as a guaranteed prize of pounds 46,875, he will also receive plenty of Ryder Cup qualifying points.

Langer, 41, has not won for almost a year and a half. He needed a par at the last to end the drought at the Greg Norman Holden International three weeks ago. But the German took a triple-bogey six after being in a bunker, chipping over the green and then calling a penalty shot on himself for picking up his marker on the green while replacing his ball. "It was one of those weird things," he said. "I can't explain it but it does come to mind once in a while when I go to mark my ball."

Having dismissed Brad Faxon in the first round, Langer had to cope with Singh birdies at the first two holes and then a remarkable recovery from a plugged lie in a bunker at the third. But Langer was only one down and squared the match at the fifth before making four birdies in a row, the one at the seventh for a half. Though the Fijian also birdied the par- three 11th to get back to the two down, Langer's 20-footer for an eagle at the 12th left him in control. "I would be pretty to have more days like this," the German said.

Langer plays Jeff Maggert, who beat Price at the last, in the third round with the winner possibly playing Woods in the quarter-finals. "I am not here to represent the Europeans," Langer said. "This is not a Ryder Cup thing. I am here to play the best I can for myself."

THIRD-ROUND PAIRINGS: T Woods v S Cink; B Langer (Ger) v J Maggert; S Pate v F Couples; E Romero (Arg) v P Mickelson; B Glasson v A Magee; L Roberts v S Maruyama (Japan); J M Olazabal (Sp) v S Jones; J Huston v P Sjoland (Swe).

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Reach Volunteering: Trustees with Finance, Fundraising and IT skills

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent