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Tiger Woods wins Dubai Desert Classic

Woods clinched victory at the first extra hole after Els had put his second shot into the lake guarding the 18th green.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 20:40 IST

Tiger Woods won the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday defeating Ernie Els in a sudden death playoff.

Woods clinched victory at the first extra hole after Els had put his second shot into the lake guarding the 18th green.

Both had finished on 19-under par 269 after Woods closed with a 69 and Els came in with a 67.

Woods captured his first Desert Classic title at his third attempt after splitting the fairway down the downleg par-five closing hole used for the playoff.

Els, a three-times former winner here and the defending champion, looked aghast after hitting an errant drive into sandy scrub.

The world No 1 was safely on in two in light rough at the back of the green and then Els dumped his ball into the water agonisingly short of clearing the obstacle.

Els was on in four but far from the hole, and Woods chipped close and two putted for the championship.

"Three times I've come close and somehow I got lucky today," said Woods who struggled all day off the tee.

"I was fortunate. I didn't really have it but the guys didn't run away from me.

"Ernie was out there making all those birdies and I was just trying to catch up."

It was a pulsating finish to the Gulf region's showcase tournament with as many as six players in with a chance of winning with two holes to go.

Australian Richard Green, a winner in 1997, took a one stroke lead into the 18th but a poor drive cost him the title as he limped in with a bogey six.

Both Els and in the following group Woods produced birdie finishes to edge ahead of Green and force the playoff.

Green took third place one stroke behind with Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez and Anders Hansen of Denmark tied for fourth a further stroke back.

First Published: Feb 05, 2006 19:57 IST