Woods ousted in first round

Published September 15, 2006

VIRGINIA WATER, England - The putt wasn't even halfway to the hole when Tiger Woods turned away in disgust, removed his cap and walked over to shake hands with Shaun Micheel.

One round, and his tournament was over.

The longest winning streak in Woods' career - five tournaments - came to an abrupt end Thursday in the World Match Play Championship when fellow American Micheel put him in a deep hole and waited to see if the world's No. 1 player could escape.

Woods' last hope was a 15-foot birdie putt, and like so many other putts at Wentworth, it never had a chance. The score was 4 and 3, tying Woods' worst beating in match play.

"I don't think you're ever excited when you've lost," Woods said.

In his favorite format - 36-hole matches - against the No. 77 player in the world, Woods looked mortal.

"He didn't have too many fist pumps today, which is unusual for him in a 36-hole day, because he usually runs off five, six birdies in a row," Micheel said. "And he just wasn't able to do that."

Jim Furyk, No. 2 in the world, lost to Robert Karlsson 6 and 4. Ernie Els tried to rally against Angel Cabrera, but hit two tee shots out of play on No. 17 hole and conceded 2 and 1.

Only two of the top seeds in the 16-man field advanced and kept alive their hopes of golf's richest prize - $1.87-million to the winner. Defending champion and top-seeded Michael Campbell dispatched Simon Khan 3 and 1 and Luke Donald (No. 7) outlasted Tim Clark 2-up.

In other matches, Paul Casey beat two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen 6 and 4, Colin Montgomerie beat David Howell 1-up and former Masters champion Mike Weir defeated Adam Scott 3 and 2.

The U.S. team arrives Monday in Dublin for the Ryder Cup, and Woods didn't know if he would stick around the British Isles or return home to Florida.

"Right now, I'm probably going to work out and get some of this frustration out," he said.

PGA TOUR: Rain softened the course and created ideal scoring conditions at the 84 Lumber Classic, but Michelle Wie's sixth attempt to became the first woman in 61 years to make a cut in a tour event looks to be unsuccessful.

Wie shot 5-over 77 on a day when there were 25 scores in the 60s in Farmington, Pa.

"I had six or seven putts that looked like they were going to go in the hole and didn't," said Wie, tied for 125th.

Nicholas Thompson, a 2005 qualifying school graduate who is 181st on the money list, shot 8-under 64 and led by two.

EUROPEAN PGA: Jean-Francois Lucquin shot 65 to take a one-shot lead in the opening round of the Madrid Masters. Richard Fichardt and Miguel Angel Martin were a shot back.

USGA: Georgia insurance agent Dave Womack won the U.S. Mid-Amateur in Flagstaff, Ariz., making a 5-foot par putt on the 36th hole for a 1-up victory over Ryan Hybl. Womack is an assistant golf coach at the University of Georgia.