Sunday, November 13, 2005

Howell hangs on to clinch title


England's David Howell outscored world number 1 Tiger Woods to take the HSBC Champions Tournament title in Shanghai.

Finishing on -20 after going into the final day only one shot ahead of Woods and Nick O'Hern, Howell fired a 68 to be three shots clear of the field and to clinch victory and a £2.7m prize cheque.

Finding the water on the 16th, Woods ended up with a 70, putting him in second place at -17.

"David has worked hard and that's what happens. You're going to improve when you put in time and he certainly has," the world no.1 commented.

"I've made a lot of progress this autumn. Second doesn't feel as good as first, that's for sure, but some wonderfully positive things have happened."

Elsewhere, Englishman Nick Doherty finished joint third with O'Hern on 14 under. World no.2 Vijay Singh had five birdies and two bogeys for a closing 69 and tied for fifth on 13 under with Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

Padraig Harrington ended on seven under while Colin Montgomerie finished with a disappointing 74 to close on one under.

Howell's lead looked to be in jeopardy when his missed short par putts at the eighth and ninth but he recovered quickly at the 10th to restore a three-stroke lead.

"I'm very ambitious and winning events like this is the sort of stuff I want to be doing," he said.

"I've worked so hard for this win. I'm now leading the 2006 Order of Merit plus I've got some Ryder Cup points, which we're all after, so I couldn't be happier."

"I was very nervous when I missed a few putts, particularly at the ninth after missing on the eighth. "

"I played solid golf from there and Tiger perhaps wasn't on song."

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