Golf: Woods soars as eagle nets Grand Slam

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TIGER WOODS successfully defended his title at the PGA Grand Slam here with a 3 & 2 victory over Davis Love in Wednesday night's 18- hole final of the four-man event. Woods birdied the par-four 1st hole and went two up after hitting a three-iron to 15ft to set up an eagle putt on the 524- yard 2nd hole.

"I knew this was going to be a tough match because Davis played very well yesterday and made quite a few birdies and an eagle," Woods said. "I made a good second shot and good putt on No 1. I figured if I could somehow answer him, I would stop his momentum from yesterday. He conceded the next hole for eagle and from then on I played some really good golf."

Woods, the USPGA Championship winner, collected around pounds 235,000 for winning this event, increasing his overall season earnings to more than pounds 5m. He has captured 10 of the last 14 tournaments he has entered, including a victory at last week's World Cup team event in Malaysia with Mark O'Meara, and after his latest victory he said he was going to rest.

"I'm done until one tournament at the end of the year," the American said. "I'm off for five weeks. This year has been so incredible, especially at the end of it. I thought, going into the year, I could probably win about seven times. And I even superseded my own goals, and I don't do that very often."

The match for third place between the Open champion, Paul Lawrie, and Jose Maria Olazabal ended when the Scotsman twisted his right ankle after stepping on some rocks while walking between the 9th green and the 10th tee. Olazabal was one up after nine holes. Hospital tests allayed fears that Lawrie had broken the ankle and the Scot said he would try to play in next week's Sun City tournament in South Africa.

The Australian Paul Gow fired a course record to upstage Colin Montgomerie, Greg Norman and Nick Faldo on the first day of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney. Gow holed nine birdies on the way to an eight-under par 64 to lead by two from last season's Australasian Order of Merit leader, Jarrod Moseley, and Brendan Jones.

Faldo, playing for the first time without his caddie of 10 years, Fanny Sunesson, shot a four-under-par 68, two ahead of Norman, who failed to capitalise on still morning conditions.

The American Mike Cunning fired a five-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Hong Kong Open.