Woods has easy victory


Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 28, 2003 at 11:47 p.m.

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Tiger Woods made sure he wasn't part of the nail-biting drama Friday in the Match Play Championship, winning six of the first seven holes in a ruthless display of golf to beat Stephen Leaney and advance to the quarterfinals.

No one else had such a short day of work, least of all David Toms. Toms spent four hours in the hospital overnight with food poisoning and wasn't even sure he could make it to the first tee.

He mustered whatever strength he had left to win the last two holes, making a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 1-up victory over Alex Cejka.

``I don't think I had anything left in me to go extra holes,'' Toms said. ``I wanted to make that putt, and I'm glad I did.''

Jay Haas, 49, didn't have to make his putt to win on the 20th hole.

Haas hit a 4-iron from 219 yards that stopped 2 inches from the hole, beating Nick Price in a match between two guys with a combined 51 years on tour.

``I felt like I was going to have to make birdie to win the match,'' Haas said.

Darren Clarke, the 2000 winner at La Costa, only needed par to beat Jim Furyk, who bogeyed three straight holes down the stretch and was among the eight players whose tournament ended abruptly.

In other matches: Scott Hoch built an early lead and defeated Toshi Izawa, 4 and 3; Adam Scott handed Kevin Sutherland his first loss at La Costa, making a 12-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and beating the defending champion, 2 and 1; Jerry Kelly kept it straight and defeated Phil Mickelson, 3 and 2; Peter Lonard won the battle of the Aussies, taking advantage of short misses by Robert Allenby on the final two holes for a 1-up victory.

With that, the most fickle tournament in golf is starting to take shape.

Woods (No. 1) and Toms (No. 6) are the only top 10-seeded players remaining heading into the quarterfinals Saturday morning. The semifinals will be later that afternoon.

Woods is clearly the most rested, especially after a 7-and-6 victory over Leaney.

``It's not like I'm slapping it around,'' Woods said. ``I'm playing some pretty solid golf.''

  • CHRYSLER CLASSIC: At Tucson, Ariz., Frank Lickliter II, in the midst of a major makeover of his swing, shot a 9-under-par 63 Friday to take a three-shot lead halfway through the Chrysler Classic.

    Lickliter, who started Friday's second round three strokes out of the lead, was at 14-under 130 through 36 holes, two off the tournament record of 128 set by David Duval in 1999.

    ``I'm driving extremely well right now,'' Lickliter said. ``It's allowed me to hit it at the pin, and I'm making the putts.''

    After playing the back nine first and making the turn at 9 under for the tournament, Lickliter shot a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

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