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Golf: Woods Wins 3rd British Open
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An emotional Tiger Woods won his 11th major championship with a masterly display of controlled shot-making at the British Open on Sunday.

After tapping in his final putt, Woods burst into tears in the arms of caddie Steve Williams and then his wife Elin before dedicating his victory to his father Earl who died from cancer in May.

He started the day with just a one-stroke advantage and had no fewer than 14 big- name players breathing down his neck within five strokes of his lead.

But only Chris DiMarco got a sniff of an upset, closing to within one stroke early on in the back nine before Woods shifted effortlessly into top gear.

The 30-year-old American won by two strokes with a 18-under-par total of 270, two clear of DiMarco in second who closed with a 68.

Ernie Els was third a further three strokes back after coming in with a 71.

"This one's for Dad," Woods said.

"Once I had finished all these emotions just poured out of me. I guess they had been locked up inside me.

"I miss my Dad so much and I just wish he could have been here watching me. It would have brought a smile to his face.

The win drew Woods level on 11 with the legendary Walter Hagen as second equal on the all-time list of major championship winners. Hagen reached that mark at the 1929 British Open.

Only Jack Nicklaus now lies ahead of him with his haul of 18 majors being the Holy Grail that Woods' entire career is based on surpassing.

It was also the first back-to-back win in the British Open since Tom Watson in 1982/83 and confirmed that Woods is back at the helm after the nine-week break he took from the game to mourn his father.

Woods was all steely-eyed business using mostly long irons again off the tee to reach all three opening par-four greens in regulation.

And while he safely negotiated the ensuing putts, playing partner Sergio Garcia missed a five-footer on the second and a three-footer on the third to slip three behind the defending champion.

Woods then plunged in the knife with an eagle at the fifth, reaching the green in two and then sinking an 18-footer.

What had started as a one-stroke lead in the space of five holes had turned into five and Garcia was left shaking his head.

Up ahead Els was just about staying in touch, when he birdied the fifth to get to 13-under for the tournament, two behind Woods. But a missed 12-footer at the eighth took the wind out of his sails.

His playing partner DiMarco opened with a bogey, but got back to 12-under with a birdie at the par-three sixth and he grabbed a second birdie at the 10th to stand alone in second place.

Woods reached the turn at 15-under for the tournament, two strokes clear of DiMarco, but his only blemish of the day came with a missed 12-footer at the 12th.

DiMarco moved to within one stroke of the lead when he birdied the par-three 13th but, sensing the danger, Woods produced his two finest shots of the day — a magnificent second to nine-feet at the 14th and a peerless tee-shot to six feet at the par-three next.

A brace of birdies was the reward and Woods had firmly taken care of his sole remaining challenger.

He rounded it all of in style by recording his fourth straight birdie at the par-five 16th and tapping in for his par at the last.

Garcia recovered from an outward 39 to finish as top European at 11 under with Japan's Hideto Tanihara the best Asian at 11-under after closing with a 71.

It was a disappointing finish for home hopes with Anthony Wall best placed Briton at 11th equal, 10 shots behind Woods.

(Source: Shenzhen Daily/Agencies July 25, 2006)

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