Sun, Feb 26, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Campbell bests Woods as top players fold


Chad Campbell watches his shot from the seventh tee during third-round action at the Match Play Championships in Carlsbad, California, on Thursday.


Tiger Woods missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole for Chad Campbell to win 1-up and reach the Match Play Championship quarterfinals on a vicious day on Friday for some of golf's biggest names.

Beside Woods, second-seeded Vijay Singh, hometown favorite Phil Mickelson and defending champion David Toms were bundled out in the third round at La Costa Resort.

Right when it looked as though the top seeds were on a collision course in the Championship, the fickle tournament was left with Retief Goosen (No. 3) as the lone player from the top 10 seeds.

Singh still doesn't know what it's like to play on the weekend at La Costa after missing a good chance to win on the 18th and losing to Padraig Harrington in 19 holes.

Mickelson, the No. 5 seed, never led against David Howell of England and didn't stand much of a chance with Howell twice making long birdie putts, closing out Lefty, 3 and 1.

Toms, the No. 8, lost his magic at La Costa and saw his eight-match winning streak end by going down to US Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman, 4 and 3.

Campbell was certain he was headed into overtime while standing to the side of the 18th green as Woods crouched to study the 12-foot birdie putt.

Campbell was in the group behind Woods the day before and watched him make a 7-footer to beat Australian Robert Allenby, and Campbell expected the putt to drop like so many others.

"Didn't y'all?" Campbell said. "I was getting ready to go to No. 1, to be honest with you."

But when the ball took a hop moments after leaving Woods' putter and stayed right of the cup, Campbell had won.

What was he thinking when Woods missed?

"I wasn't really all that disappointed," Campbell said, grinning.

While there's no such thing as an upset in the Match Play Championship, Mike Weir might feel otherwise. The former Masters champion was 4-up with four holes to play against Geoff Ogilvy when he missed a 10-foot par putt on the 15th to lose the hole.

No big deal, right?

But the Aussie birdied the 16th, won the 17th with a par and the 18th with a two-putt birdie. Ogilvy went to extra holes for the third straight round, and won on the 21st hole with an approach to 4 feet for eagle on the par-5 third.

Still, the buzz -- or what was left of it at La Costa -- was Campbell beating the No. 1 player in the world. He is playing so well that his last two opponents did not make a bogey and still got beat.

"I didn't play badly," Woods said. "Chad played really good. He made a lot more birdies than me, made more putts than I did. I had my opportunities to put pressure on him by making putts, and I didn't do it."

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