Furyk's fortunes improve at last in Tiger's absence

American breaks drought in style to win Woods' tournament in California

Jim Furyk ended his season with a first victory in 28 months as he held off a strong European effort to win the Chevron World Challenge in California last night, leaving him to hoist a trophy that immediately reminded one and all of the man-who-wasn't-there.

The American Ryder Cup star saved his best until last, shooting a closing, five-under-par 67 to reach 13 under and win the 18-player tournament at Sherwood Country Club near Los Angeles. Tiger Woods had withdrawn from the event he hosts last Monday in the wake of the media storm and lurid revelations that had followed his car crash outside his Florida home three days previously.

Graeme McDowell proved to be the lucky benefactor of Woods' strife as he earned a last-minute invitation as the world No 1's replacement in the tournament and the Northern Irishman took second place, a shot behind Furyk. Ireland's Padraig Harrington and European No 1 Lee Westwood claimed a tie for third a further stroke away from Furyk on 11 under, while Ian Poulter was in a four-way tie for fifth on nine under.

Furyk had started the day at eight under, two shots behind overnight leaders McDowell and Y E Yang of Korea. He was leading at 12 under with two holes to play but found the large bunker in front of the par-three 17th and was staring at bogey when he laid up on the large green. The American had other ideas and sank the long par putt to stay in the lead.

Westwood birdied the 17th for a share of the lead at 12 under only for Furyk to then birdie the last for a second consecutive, five-under-par 67 to move back into the outright lead at 13 under. In the final group, McDowell had birdied the 16th to get to 11 under but missed a birdie opportunity on 17, leaving Westwood with the most realistic chance of catching Furyk.

The Englishman, needing a birdie to tie, left his second shot pushed up against the right fringe of the green. Needing to hope out to force a play-off, Westwood caught a break when he asked for a ruling on an unplayable stance caused by a recessed sprinkler head and after a lengthy discussion with an official won a drop. That left him still up against the longer grass and able to putt instead of chip, but he pushed his effort wide and left with a short par putt, he missed and had to settle for a 70 at 11 under.

That left McDowell as the only man left able to tie with Furyk and he nearly pulled it off, sending his second shot to within two feet of the hole. It was not enough, however, to prevent Furyk picking up his first win of the year.

Overnight co-leader Yang, the US PGA champion, fell away with a two-over 74 to finish on eight under while England's Paul Casey finally shook off the rust after more than three months suffering with a rib injury to shoot the low round of the week, a 64, to finish on six under par.

*The Australian Robert Allenby ended four years without a win in South Africa yesterday, beating defending champion Henrik Stenson at the third extra hole of a play-off in the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City. The pair both picked up bogeys at the closing hole to finish on the 11-under-par mark of 277 and then parred the 502-yard 18th twice before Swede Stenson bogeyed it again. It was Allenby's first success since his 2005 hat-trick of Australian Open, PGA and Masters titles.

Woods' caddie pledges to stay in 'marriage'

Steve Williams, bag-carrier to Tiger Woods for 10 years, chose an unfortunate analogy at the weekend when explaining his continued fidelity to his employer, despite the world's No 1 golfer's philanderings.

"That's what friends are for," Williams said. "You support them through good and bad. It's like a marriage, really".

Mrs Elin Woods may have other ideas of what constitutes a marriage, of course, and who's to say if Williams' support could be influenced by having become New Zealand's richest 'sportsman' – thanks to Tiger.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments