|Aaron Baddeley can't bear to look after missing a birdie putt on No. 17 that would have put him up on Tiger Woods. (Matt York/Associated Press)|
Tiger Woods made 12 birdies in 20 holes and needed every one of them yesterday in a brilliant duel with Aaron Baddeley that sent the world's No. 1 player into the quarterfinals of the
Rarely has Woods played at such a high level, only to have another player match him step for step, birdie for birdie.
Baddeley, who shot 80 in the final round of the US Open the last time he played alone with Woods, was 1 up with three holes to play and twice had putts to end the match. A tough, 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole broke sharply below the hole, and Baddeley's 12-foot eagle putt on the 19th hole burned the left edge of the cup, giving Woods new life.
Woods's final birdie was from 13 feet, and it was good all the way. He removed his cap when the ball was still a foot away from dropping, and he looked relieved after winning his longest match in his nine years at this tense tournament.
"It was quality shot after quality shot," Woods said. "Matches like that are fun to be a part of."
Woods advanced to the quarterfinals for the fifth time in nine years. He will face K.J. Choi, a 1-up winner over Paul Casey.
Choi birdied the first three holes to build a big lead and was 3 up through seven holes after making an eagle. But he closed with 11 straight pars to outlast Casey.
The Americans, who started the tournament with a record-low 20 players, now have one player still remaining in each of the four brackets.
Woody Austin easily handled Boo Weekley, 3 and 2, to advance to play defending champion Henrik Stenson, who hung on to beat Jonathan Byrd.
Stewart Cink took advantage of sloppy play by Colin Montgomerie to deny the Scot valuable world ranking points, winning 4 and 2. Cink will play US Open champion Angel Cabrera, who beat Steve Stricker, 4 and 3.
Justin Leonard reached the quarterfinals for the first time and joined Cabrera as the only players to have not played the 18th hole after three rounds. Leonard dispatched of Stuart Appleby, 3 and 2, after running off five straight birdies at the turn.
Leonard will face Vijay Singh, who rallied from 2 down with two holes to play, then beat Rod Pampling on the 25th hole.
LPGA - Jeong Jang shot a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead midway through the second round of the Fields Open in Kapolei, Hawaii.
Jang was a stroke ahead of fellow South Korean Song-Hee Kim, who made several long putts for a career-best 64.
Michelle Wie, who opened with a 69 to break 70 for the first time since July 2006, struggled. She made the turn at even par and trailed Jang by nine strokes. Wie was three shots above the projected cut.
PGA - First-round leader John Merrick shot a 68 to retain the lead at 8-under 132 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Brian Gay was a stroke back after a 67.
While Nick Price moved into contention with a 2-under 68 that moved him into a tie for eighth at 2-under 138, the other World Golf Hall of Famer in the field - Greg Norman - packed up and left after a 79. Despite all his advantages for having designed the El Cameleon course, the Shark finished at 9 over, missing the cut by five strokes.
Australasian/Nationwide - Ewan Porter shot a 1-under-par 71 and held on to a share of the second-round lead with Australian compatriot Wayne Perske (67) at the rain and wind-hit Moonah Classic in Fingal, Australia.
Fran Quinn of Holden, Mass., a shot behind Porter after the first round, shot a 73 and fell to fifth.