Winning putt puts a light in Tiger's eye

 

At last Tiger Woods holed a putt to win a title. And even though this was the Presidents Cup and the glory was not only his but also that of his team, the look in his eyes showed how much this meant to him.

Despite winning just two of his games in the Royal Melbourne match between the US and the Internationals, Woods had every right to feel chuffed with his 4&3 singles victory over the Australian Aaron Baddeley. As the home side staged a fightback, Woods found himself in the spotlight and his new swing coped with the pressure. His point meant the Americans retained their trophy and at the same time went some way towards vindicating Fred Couples.

The visiting captain was criticised for selecting the former world No 1 and even in defeat Greg Norman, the International captain, refused to be gracious over the controversial wild card. "I still probably would have gone for Keegan Bradley because he won the USPGA," said Norman, who said beforehand that Woods was undeserving of the pick.

Woods, as is his way, was not about to let that pass without a little dig. "I'm thankful Fred picked me," said Woods. "Greg is probably not happy about it after I closed out the Cup today... I'm thankful that Freddie believed in me to be a part of this team."

Regardless of the finale in the 19-15 triumph – the sixth time the US have won in the last seven stagings of this Ryder Cup spin-off – Woods was not the hero of the team: Jim Furyk matched Woods' feat of two years ago in winning all five of his matches. It just seemed that way as Woods hugged Couples on the 15th green. "I felt like I was picking the greatest player I've ever seen play," said Couples. "Today he played like the Tiger of old."

While the hyperbole was obvious, Woods can indeed feel optimistic as he prepares for his own tournament, the Chevron World Challenge in California, in a fortnight. In his fourballs defeat on Saturday afternoon he hit 17 out of 18 greens in treacherous conditions, while against Baddeley he posed six birdies and one bogey in 15 holes. This came on the back of his third position in last week's Australian Open, which raised hopes of a first individual win in two years.

"I'm very pleased with the progress I've made with Sean [Foley, his coach] and it's finally paying off under pressure," said Woods. "It held up nicely last week and it held up nicely this week." His putting was not good on Thursday and Friday, however, and many will not believe he is returning to anywhere near his best until they start dropping with the old regularity. Woods is outside the world's top 50 and still has much to do.

Joost Luiten claimed a maiden European Tour title with a one-shot victory from Daniel Chopra at the rain-reduced Iskandar Johor Open yesterday. The Dutchman compiled a six-under-par 65 to move to 15 under and overhaul the Swede in the 54-hole event. Ireland's Padraig Harrington, England's James Morrison and Wales' Rhys Davies tied for third.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada