tiger tamed out of swing

SHANGHAI - Tiger Woods was widely expected to be in the hunt when it came to the crunch at the HSBC Champions yesterday, but the frustrated world No1 had an off day.

SHANGHAI - Tiger Woods was widely expected to be in the hunt when it came to the crunch at the HSBC Champions yesterday, but the frustrated world No1 had an off day.

Woods started the final round in joint second place, two shots behind eventual winner Phil Mickelson but faded to finish five strokes adrift after a round of 72.

He self-destructed with a double bogey on the fourth when he drove his ball into an adjacent canal and had to take a drop. He recovered to leave himself with a four-foot putt for a bogey but the ball bounced out of the hole and he lost two shots.

It didn't get any better with another bogey on the sixth, when his 10-foot downhill par putt ran five feet past the hole.

He was clearly getting frustrated and when a camera clicked as he was teeing off at the seventh and his shot found a bunker, he shouted "I just can't get a swing" and started swearing under his breath.

Woods, who has won 16 of the 30 World Golf Championships events, next heads to Melbourne, where he will play the Australian Masters.

Mickelson, the world No2's second success in three years in Shanghai, was his fourth tournament win this season.

The victory in a pressure-cooker of an atmosphere at the Sheshan International Golf Club convinced Mickelson he was close to his peak.

"I'm excited about 2010 because I'm starting to play the best golf of my career," the 39-year-old told reporters. - Sapa-AFP, Reuter

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