Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tiger's Feat Won't Shatter Lee Dream; Get in There: A Jubilant Tiger Woods Celebrates with Caddie Steve Williams after Sinking His Last-Hole Birdie Putt at Torrey Pines

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tiger's Feat Won't Shatter Lee Dream; Get in There: A Jubilant Tiger Woods Celebrates with Caddie Steve Williams after Sinking His Last-Hole Birdie Putt at Torrey Pines

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smith

TIGER WOODS and Rocco Mediate go head-to-head in an 18-hole play-off forthe US Open title at Torrey Pines later today but England's Lee Westwoodbelieves he can still be a major winner despite the lasthole heartbreak whichprevented it becoming a three-man showdown.

Westwood faced a 20ft birdie putt on the final green to join the two Americanson one under par.

It pulled up short, leaving the former European No1 still searching for hismaiden major championship. But the 35-year-old Ryder Cup star refused to dwellon his disappointment.

"It's sickening not to be in the play-off but I'm very positive," saidWestwood, whose preparations were disrupted by the tonsillitis that forced himto quit five holes into his second round at the BMW PGA Championship atWentworth three weeks ago.

"I only did a bit of chipping and putting because physically I wasn't up tohitting balls for two or three hours at a time. So if you'd have said I'd havea 20-footer to get in a play-off for the US Open I would have been surprised.

"But I got into contention and I had a good chance. While I'm disappointed withthe outcome I think I've proved to myself and a few others that there is amajor championship in me." Westwood's two-over-par 73 left him level par forthe tournament and one shot shy of playing partner Woods and Mediate, the45-year-old who only made the starting line-up after coming through qualifyingby way of a play-off.

Mediate, two behind overnight, returned a level-par 71 in the penultimate groupand was then forced to fret as Woods and Westwood come to the par-five last,both needing a birdie to force a tie.

Both found bunkers off the tee and neither reached the green in two. But it wasWoods, clearly in discomfort from knee surgery performed nine weeks ago, whoseputter was hot.

Mediate watched the 15ft-birdie putt creep in and sighed, "Unbelievable". …

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