CARLSBAD (California): World number one Tiger Woods and former PGA champion David Toms advanced to the final of the World Match Play Championship on Saturday.
Woods, who earlier in the day defeated Scott Hoch five and four to reach the semi-finals, had his most difficult match of the championship against 22-year-old Adam Scott of Australia.
Scott, who had beaten Jay Haas two and one in the quarter-finals, continually put pressure on the world number one and even had a two-up lead after seven holes.
“I didn't really hit the ball as crisp as I did this morning,” Woods said. “I got a couple of mud balls, and then on top of that made a couple of bad swings and Adam didn't really miss a shot.”
Woods, however, then birdied the next two holes to make the turn level before Scott made a huge mistake by three-putting the par-three.
While Scott birdied the 14th to square the match, Woods then grabbed the lead again with a birdie at 15.
Both shot a birdie on 16, with Scott draining a 13-foot putt to ensure he went to the 17th just one down.
After halving the 17th, Scott produced a miraculous shot from the bunker to within three feet of the hole and set up the birdie on 18 that sent the match into extra holes.
In the playoff, Woods and Scott reached the green in regulation, but Woods made the key two-putt while Scott missed a short two-footer that would have extended the match.
Woods will play fellow Ryder Cupper Toms, who earlier in the day defeated Jerry Kelly four and three in the quarter-finals and faced Australian Peter Lonard on Saturday afternoon.
Toms, who missed consecutive cuts at the Buick Invitational and the Nissan Open and then got food poisoning on Thursday and almost withdrew before Friday's third round took a quick three-up lead over Lonard after 10 holes. But he saw that lead dwindle away to all-square as Lonard made birdies on the 12th and 16th and Toms missed a short-par putt on the 15th.
"I felt like I was in control the whole day until I missed that putt on 15," Toms said. "I didn't give in the whole day until then."
After pars on the 17th, both players were left with virtually identical-length birdie putts from 10 feet on the 18th.
While Lonard just missed on the right edge, Toms drilled his in to set up the final over 36 holes against Woods on Sunday. – Reuters