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Bad drive costly as Woods eliminated in Match Play

Woods mostly upbeat after loss in second round

Tiger Woods (right) shakes hands with Tim Clark after losing to Clark on the No. 16 hole on Thursday in the second round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

Tiger Woods (right) shakes hands with Tim Clark after losing to Clark on the No. 16 hole on Thursday in the second round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain.

A maddening lip-out when the going had already gotten tense, but then a marvelous hole-out from the sand.

Tiger Woods is his old self, thousands thought.

But a drive from Woods on the 15th hole hit a cholla cactus, forcing a re-drive and you could hear pffft . . . a lot of air going out of the Accenture Match Play Championship.

Making birdies is the name of the game in match play, as the world’s No. 1 player admitted after steady Tim Clark of South Africa defeated Woods 4 and 2 Thursday in the second round of the tournament.

“I’m very pleased, actually, with the way I hit the golf ball,” Woods said. “I didn’t make enough birdies. I made some (Wednesday), just didn’t make enough (Thursday. But I hit the ball well the last two days and that’s encouraging.”

Thus, Tiger’s long-awaited comeback got a decent – if brief – introduction, and it probably will just be a short time before he’s a world-beater again.

“I don’t know. I’m going to go home, see how I feel. I feel great (physically) now,” Woods said.

Speculation is he is working up to the Masters, while Clark gets a major boost in name recognition.

“It’s obviously a massive victory for me,” said Clark, who will face Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy in Friday’s round of 16. “Tiger doesn’t get beat very often and to go out in that atmosphere, I mean it really is a different experience with all the media and the people.

“A lot of guys playing against Tiger probably try too hard and it’s just a case of realizing that it’s just another round of golf. You either let it get the best of you or you thrive on it.”

Woods was down by three holes on No. 14 when his shot 20 yards out from the sand rolled into the cup.

But Woods planted his next drive so far into the desert it rolled across a road, then disappeared. He elected to take a penalty stroke and walked back to the tee to drive again.

“It must have hit something down there,” he said. “We got down there and no one told us it was out of bounds . . . I had to walk back.”

He then planted the ball 5 yards from the hole, missed his par putt and was three holes down with three to go. After losing the next hole, it was over.

Clark

Clark

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