Sat, Feb 24, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Woods cruises, Rose knocks out Mickelson

AFP , TUCSON, ARIZONA

Tiger Woods cruised into the third round of the WGC Match Play Championship on schedule, but Justin Rose made sure the world No. 1 won't get a shot at Masters champion Phil Mickelson.

England's Rose handed the fourth-seeded Mickelson a 3 and 1 second-round defeat in the US$8 million tournament.

Rose, who burst onto the international scene when he finished fourth at the 1998 British Open at Royal Birkdale, refused to get carried away with his triumph.

"Obviously it's nice to beat a player who's won majors and stuff like Phil, but I'm looking at it as a tournament, not as a who's who list of players," said Rose, who who next faces US golfer Charles Howell.

Howell, who won the Nissan Open in Los Angeles last Sunday, defeated Spain's Sergio Garcia 4 and 3.

Rose was never more than 1-down against Mickelson in the tense early going. He made his move with five birdies in six holes around the turn, and said his 30-foot par putt at 15 -- when Mickelson appeared poised to win the hole, was the key.

"It's the first long putt I've holed all week," he said.

"It was always going to be a tough game and it proved to be that way. It was really a nip and tuck game on the front nine and the early part of the back nine. I just managed to get my nose in front," Rose said.

Mickelson, too, pointed to 15 as the turning point.

"He played some good golf," Mickelson said. "I made six birdies today ... I just didn't get it done."

Woods, predictably, was in control throughout in a 5 and 4 victory over South African Tim Clark.

Woods won the first hole and was never threatened, although he failed in his first opportunity to close out the match, arriving at the 13th hole 6-up only to see Clark claim the hole with his first birdie of the day.

It only delayed the inevitable as Woods remained on course to claim his eighth US PGA Tour-sanctioned event in as many starts.

Woods will next face Australian Nick O'Hern, a 2 and 1 winner over South African Rory Sabbatini.

O'Hern already owns a victory over Woods in this event, having beaten the then two-time defending champion in the second round in 2005.

In the same quarter of the draw, England's Luke Donald wasted a big lead as Australian Aaron Baddeley came from nowhere to win 1-up.

Donald was 3-up after 12 holes but stumbled with two bogeys down the stretch.

Those mistakes, combined with Baddeley birdies at the 14th and 18th holes, did him in.

"I was pretty much in control after 12 holes," Donald said.

"Two-over the last six holes is not going to get it done. I have only myself to blame," he said.

Baddeley will face Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who beat South Korean K.J. Choi 2-up.

Elsewhere, Ian Poulter joined compatriot Rose in the round of 16, defeating Bradley Dredge of Wales 3 and 1.

Poulter, 31, never trailed Dredge, who won the ninth and 12th holes with birdies to claw back to all square, only to promptly lose the next two holes.

England's Paul Casey defeated Scotland's Colin Montgomerie 4 and 3 to book a meeting with American Shaun Micheel, a 1-up winner over Australian Rod Pampling.

Geoff Ogilvy, the defending champion from Australia, got safely through with a 2 and 1 victory over Spain's Jose Maria Olazabal.

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