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GOLF ROUNDUP

Daly lets Woods cash in

In a phenomenal display of power between golf's two biggest sluggers, Tiger Woods outlasted John Daly in the American Express Championship because of a 3-foot putt.

Woods made up two shots over the final three holes yesterday to force a playoff, then won on the second extra hole when Daly three-putted for bogey from 15 feet on the 16th, badly pulling his short par putt.

''I just played that second putt straight, and it went left," Daly said. ''It wasn't meant to be."

It was a somber end to a riveting afternoon along the shores of Lake Merced in San Francisco, where some 20,000 fans crammed along the fairways and cypress trees were treated to 350-yard drives and drama rarely seen this side of a major.

Woods closed with a 2-under-par 68 and won the American Express Championship for the fourth time in six starts. He extended his dominance in these World Golf Championships, winning his 10th in 19 events.

It was his sixth victory of the year, and given a swing he couldn't trust until the end and sore ribs that required treatment, this was as impressive as any.

Daly shot 69 and had two chances to win. He missed a 16-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation, then had a birdie putt from 15 feet on the second extra hole that just grazed the left side of the cup.

Fans scrambled to the next hole, few imagining that Daly would miss from 3 feet.

''I feel so bad for J.D.," Woods said. ''You never, ever want to win a golf tournament like that."

LPGA -- Nicole Perrot earned her first Tour victory, rallying from a two-shot deficit to win the Long Drugs Challenge in Auburn, Calif.

Perrot, 21, the 2001 US Girls champion, offset three bogeys on the front nine at The Ridge Golf Course with three birdies on the back in an even-par 71. She finished at 14-under 270, one shot ahead of Hee-Won Han (69).

Champions -- Jay Haas rallied with a 7-under 65 for his first Tour victory, a two-stroke win at the Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C.

The 51-year-old Haas, who splits time between the PGA Tour and the 50-and-over tour, finished with a tournament-record 16-under 200 at Rock Barn Golf and Spa's Jones Course.

European -- John Bickerton won the Abama Open in Tenerife, Canary Islands, shooting a 3-under 68 (10-under 274) to beat Stuart Little and Michael Kirk by five strokes.

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