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Tiger Ousted Early at Match Play

February 20, 2002

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) _ Tiger Woods was right. The Match Play Championship is anybody’s tournament to win.

Just not his.

Woods was unceremoniously ousted from the opening round Wednesday by Peter O’Malley, the pudgy Australian who became the first No. 64 seed to win a match in the four-year history of the event.

Even more shocking is that it wasn’t even close.

O’Malley, who qualified for the tournament only when Jose Coceres withdrew because of a broken arm, took the lead with short birdie putts on the eighth and ninth holes, and never allowed Woods a chance to get back in the match.

Three down with three holes to play, Woods made his first birdie of the round from 30 feet to keep his slim hopes alive. But O’Malley holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to send Woods packing.

It was the first Woods had been eliminated this early in his three years playing the Accenture Match Play Championship. He was beaten in the quarterfinals by Jeff Maggert in 1999 and in the final by Darren Clarke two years ago.


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