Woods eliminated from match play

Friday, September 15, 2006

Unbeatable for two months, Tiger Woods' winning streak came to a swift and sudden conclusion Thursday when Shaun Micheel knocked him out in the first round of the World Match Play Championship in Virginia Water, England.

Woods had a 15-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to keep alive his slim hopes, but he removed his cap and walked over to shake hands with Micheel as the ball was still rolling. The score was 4 and 3, matching Woods' worst loss in match play.

His winning streak began about four hours away at Hoylake, where Woods won the British Open for the first of five straight victories.

After falling behind on the first hole of the 36-hole match, Micheel won four straight holes in the morning to build a lead that he never gave up.

Jim Furyk, who rose to No. 2 in the world ranking by winning the Canadian Open on Sunday, got hammered by Robert Karlsson of Sweden, 6 and 4, highlighting a first round in which six of the higher seeds were beaten.

Top-seeded Michael Campbell beat Simon Khan 3 and 1.

84 Lumber Classic

Michelle Wie shot a 5-over 77 in the first round of the 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington, Pa., leaving her with almost no chance of making the cut.

She was in a five-player tie for 125th, with the top 70 and ties after the second round advancing to weekend play.

Nicholas Thompson, a 2005 qualifying school graduate who is 181st on the money list, took advantage of an early starting time on a course soaked by 1 1/2 inches of overnight rain for an 8-under 64.

He had a two-shot lead over a group of six at 66 that included Rory Sabbatini and Reno-Tahoe champion Will MacKenzie.

Madrid Masters

European Ryder Cup player Darren Clarke shot a 4-under 68 in his first tournament since his wife's death, leaving him three strokes behind leader Jean-Francois Lucquin after the first round of the Madrid Masters in Spain.

-- The Associated Press

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