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 Tiger Woods had withdrawn from the event he hosts last Monday in the wake of the media storm and lurid revelations that had followed his car crash outside his Florida home three days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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...