Woods looks ahead after defeats in Asia

Woods looks ahead after defeats in Asia

MIYAZAKI – World number-one Tiger Woods heads home in positive spirits despite losing his last two regular tournaments of the year during a lucrative fortnight in Asia.

He crashed to European tour leader Padraig Harrington in a cliff-hanging play-off at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament here on Sunday, a week after unheralded South Korean Yang Yong-Eun beat him at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. “I got a long flight to Hawaii and I have to tee up on Tuesday for the Grand Slam.So it can’t affect me too long,” he said after handing the winner’s blue jacket, which he had donned for two straight years, to the Irishman.”I struggled on Sunday and it gave me a chance to learn in the golf tournament.That’s nice and positive,” said the American, who will be 31 next month.The 12-time Major winner is due to play in the 1.25 million dollar, 36-hole PGA Grand Slam of Golf event in Hawaii with the winners of this year’s other Majors.He will then host the Target World Challenge, an annual off-season charity golf event in the US before a Christmas break.He has won nine tournaments, including the British Open and the PGA Championship, this year which saw his father Earl succumb to cancer in May.His defeat at the European Tour-sanctioned five-million dollar HSBC, Asia’s richest event, followed a five-week break after he won the sixth straight US PGA tournament he played.His early three-shot lead was cut to two at 13 when Harrington birdied.Harrington then birdied the 16th hole where Woods lipped out his third putt over three feet.They finished the 72 holes tied at nine-under-par 271.On the second hole of the play-off, Harrington gambled on an incredible shot through a narrow gap between split tree trunks to set up a tap-in birdie.Woods’ putt for birdie went wide.Woods said the mistake at 16 probably cost him the tournament.”Unfortunately, this is the way it goes and I just learn from it.”His second-place prize money of 167,000 dollars added to his appearance fee estimated by local media at 300 million yen (2.6 million dollars), more than the tournament’s total purse of 1.7 million dollars, the richest in Japan.It was his only third loss in 15 play-offs during his 10-year professional career.Billy Mayfair beat him at the 1998 PGA Nissan Open.Woods also lost to Nick Price at the 1998 Nedbank Golf Challenge, an unofficial event in South Africa.Nampa-AFP”I got a long flight to Hawaii and I have to tee up on Tuesday for the Grand Slam.So it can’t affect me too long,” he said after handing the winner’s blue jacket, which he had donned for two straight years, to the Irishman.”I struggled on Sunday and it gave me a chance to learn in the golf tournament.That’s nice and positive,” said the American, who will be 31 next month.The 12-time Major winner is due to play in the 1.25 million dollar, 36-hole PGA Grand Slam of Golf event in Hawaii with the winners of this year’s other Majors.He will then host the Target World Challenge, an annual off-season charity golf event in the US before a Christmas break.He has won nine tournaments, including the British Open and the PGA Championship, this year which saw his father Earl succumb to cancer in May.His defeat at the European Tour-sanctioned five-million dollar HSBC, Asia’s richest event, followed a five-week break after he won the sixth straight US PGA tournament he played.His early three-shot lead was cut to two at 13 when Harrington birdied.Harrington then birdied the 16th hole where Woods lipped out his third putt over three feet.They finished the 72 holes tied at nine-under-par 271.On the second hole of the play-off, Harrington gambled on an incredible shot through a narrow gap between split tree trunks to set up a tap-in birdie.Woods’ putt for birdie went wide.Woods said the mistake at 16 probably cost him the tournament.”Unfortunately, this is the way it goes and I just learn from it.”His second-place prize money of 167,000 dollars added to his appearance fee estimated by local media at 300 million yen (2.6 million dollars), more than the tournament’s total purse of 1.7 million dollars, the richest in Japan.It was his only third loss in 15 play-offs during his 10-year professional career.Billy Mayfair beat him at the 1998 PGA Nissan Open.Woods also lost to Nick Price at the 1998 Nedbank Golf Challenge, an unofficial event in South Africa.Nampa-AFP

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