Woods returns just as he had left,a runaway winner

Tiger Woods made a triumphant return to golf in the Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday with a start that showed fans what they’d been missing for eight months.....

Written by Associated Press | Marana | Published:February 27, 2009 11:16 pm

Tiger Woods made a triumphant return to golf in the Accenture Match Play Championship on Wednesday with a start that showed fans what they’d been missing for eight months. Just past high noon in the desert,Woods fired an 8-iron into 5 feet for birdie. Then came a gentle fist pump when his 3-iron from 237 yards on the par-5 second settled 4 feet from the cup for eagle.

He closed out Brendan Jones of Australia with a 3-foot par on the 16th hole for a 3-and-2 victory in his first competitive outing in the 253 days.

“It felt like nothing had changed,” Woods said. “Walking down the fairway,it was like business as usual.”

Woods won the first two holes before some rust settled in. He made three bogeys over his next five holes and was leading,1 up,until he birdied the par-5 eighth with a 6-foot putt. Jones never got any closer. Woods seized control when Jones couldn’t save par behind the green on the par-3 12th,and then Woods struck another familiar pose by raising his putter above his head as his 20-foot eagle putt dropped on the 13th.

Phil Mickelson was 4 up on Angel Cabrera with five holes to play until the Argentine caught him,but Mickelson birdied the 19th hole. Sergio Garcia,the No. 2 seed,lost to Charl Schwartzel on the 18th hole when the Spaniard made bogey. British Open and US PGA Championship winner Padraig Harrington lost to Pat Perez.

Poulter too good for Jeev

England’s Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter proved too good for Jeev Milkha Singh,winning 4&3. Poulter began with a birdie and fired five more to run away with the game. Jeev birdied the 10th and 13th but the verdict was clear with three holes to go.

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