Grumpy Tiger lets Campbell pounce

At last the Tiger is looking human again. Having won his last four tournaments, he had every hope of lifting a fifth in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Taiwan.

At last the Tiger is looking human again. Having won his last four tournaments, he had every hope of lifting a fifth in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Taiwan.

But Tiger Woods was forced to give way to the New Zealander Michael Campbell after a disastrous front nine yesterday which included two sevens.

The world's No 1 golfer marched off the course with a scowl on his face, having finished sixth.

The reason for his loss required little explanation. Woods faltered because of poor putting all week, a near meltdown yesterday, and the solid play of Kiwi Campbell.

The New Zealander refused to choke, as Ernie Els did last year, when Woods made a spectacular comeback at the Classic to beat Els in a play-off.

Campbell, who won $215,330 (£135,000), shot a 70 and finished 12-below par, while Geoff Ogilvy of Australia came in second at 11-under. Els of South Africa finished third with a score of 10-under.

Dogged by uninspired putting, Woods was down four strokes going into the final round on a day of bright sunshine and light winds at the Ta Shee Golf and Country Club. Then came the problems.

First, Woods hooked his drive on the sixth hole into the rough and down a gully beside a hedge, an impossible lie that forced him to take a stroke.

"I want all these people out of here," a grumpy Woods told marshals as he charged through the gallery to find his ball. Woods ended up with a double-bogey on the hole, but things became worse only two holes later.

On the eighth, Woods drove into the rough, hit his recovery shot into the water and required three putts, giving him a disastrous triple-bogey.

Campbell's win ended a four-year losing streak for the New Zealander. He moved into the lead on Friday and kept it.

Campbell had not won a tournament since 1995 and finished so poorly in 1996 and 1997 that he did not dare dream of winning again and even considered leaving the game.

"It's just unbelievable. It's been a long frustrating last four years and finally the monkey's off my back," he said.

Though Campbell's approaches and putts were strikingly consistent, his victory never seemed assured until the last few holes.

He has played well in tournaments before, only to finish poorly. He birdied the first two holes, then pocketed another birdie on hole six. But on the seventh hole, the 30-year-old Campbell found himself in a sand trap and took three shots to escape, chalking up a double bogey for the hole. "That was my disaster hole," he said.

With Els and Ogilvy in hot pursuit, Campbell was in a three-way tie for the lead on the 14th hole. Subsequent bogeys by the other two, though, paved the way for victory.

Woods remains the man to beat in golf, Campbell said. "Tiger, he's a freak of nature. I mean, Tiger is so phenomenal it's frightening. The only way we can defeat Tiger is for him to make mistakes," Campbell said.

Ogilvy sank a birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish at 68. "Initially, I was disappointed, I felt I played good enough to maybe have a chance to win," said the 22-year-old from Melbourne.

Els, who won the Classic in 1997, when it was held in Thailand, finished with a 68. The difficult 16th hole bedevilled Els all week, and he bogeyed there again yesterday having double bogeyed the hole the day before. "I guess the 16th (hole) screwed me this week... yesterday I said it was a ridiculous hole and I still say that," Els said.

Vijay Singh notched up a solid round of 68 to finish at 9-under par, followed by the Australian Peter Senior at 8-under par.

At the Taiheiyo Masters in Gotemba, Japan, Britain's Darren Clarke lost to Japan's Hirofumi Miyase on the second play-off hole yesterday. Miyase, starting the day two strokes off the pace, birdied the final hole to force a three-way play-off against Japan's Ryoken Kawagishi and Clarke.

Kawagishi, the overnight leader, bowed out on the first play-off hole and Clarke then missed a par putt on the second hole to surrender victory to Miyase.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable