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From desert to fairway, Woods' nifty shot helps


Published: Thu, February 22, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.


Tiger Woods went on for a 3-and-2 victory over Ryder Cup teammate J.J. Henry.
MARANA, Ariz. (AP) -- On a course where it was important not to fall behind, Tiger Woods found himself among the cactus and desert shrub left of the second fairway looking for an escape. His opponent already was on the green, 12 feet away for birdie.
"It looked like he was going to take a 1-up lead and get some momentum on his side early," Woods said, "and it just never happened."
Woods went from the desert to the fairway and made a 20-foot par putt to halve the hole, setting the tone for a 3-and-2 victory over Ryder Cup teammate J.J. Henry in the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship.
One match down, five to go if the world's No. 1 player wants to stretch his PGA Tour winning streak to eight.
After one round at The Gallery, it figures to be a wild ride.
Turnaround for Ames
For the second straight year, the shortest day belonged to Stephen Ames. He was on the losing end of a record rout by Woods last year at La Costa, but experienced the flip side of this fickle tournament by making seven birdies in 11 holes to bury Robert Karlsson of Sweden, 8 and 7.
Seven matches went the distance, including fourth-seeded Phil Mickelson holding off fellow lefty Richard Green of Australia.
Four matches went overtime, none more shocking than No. 3 seed Adam Scott making a birdie on the 18th hole to extend his match, only to three-putt the 21st hole to lose to Shaun Micheel.
Jim Furyk, the No. 2 seed, was trailing at the turn until he ran off three straight birdies and outlasted Brett Quigley, 2 and 1.
And while the Match Play left soggy San Diego for the high desert north of Tucson, that didn't help Ernie Els. For the fifth time, the Big Easy was ousted in the first round, making only one birdie in his 4-and-3 loss to Bradley Dredge.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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