Lake Nona win Tavistock title
Tiger Woods (Gallo Images)
Orlando - Injury-nagged Tiger Woods fired a par 72 at Lake Nona on Tuesday in the second and final round of the Tavistock Cup exhibition event as his Albany team stumbled to a last-place finish.
Nine days after walking off in the last round of a World Golf Championships event at Doral with a strained left Achilles tendon, Woods made two birdies on the front nine and two bogeys on the back nine playing in the final foursome.
Woods birdied the par-5 second and the par-3 fourth and took bogeys at the par-5 11th and par-3 13th in his first stroke-play round since the injury. He had played in a better-ball format with England's Justin Rose on Monday.
Only one player among the 24 in the field, Albany team-mate Ian Poulter of England, had a worse round than Woods, shooting a 76.
Host Lake Nona won the $2.15 million event featuring four teams of top PGA talent with a 41-under par total score, two strokes ahead of Isleworth with Queenwood third on 31-under and 2011 champion Albany last on 26-under.
Health fears abounded over Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, when he walked off at Doral after hitting his tee shot on the 12th hole.
But Woods rested his leg and received medical treatment and said last week he would play in the Tavistock event, the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational that begins at Bay Hill on Thursday and at the Masters, which starts April 5.
Former world No. 1 Woods has won six titles at Bay Hill in his career. He will tee off on Thursday morning alongside US compatriot Hunter Mahan and Ernie Els, a three-time major winner who needs a victory to qualify for the Masters.
Els shared low-round honours on Tuesday at the Tavistock event on five-under 67 along with compatriot Retief Goosen, Australian Robert Allenby, England's Ross Fisher and Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.
Last year, Achilles and knee injuries at the Masters kept Woods sidelined for almost four months, keeping him from playing in the US and British Opens.
Woods, ranked 18th in the world, has not won any tour-sanctioned event since the 2009 Australian Masters, just before the start of his infamous sex scandal, and has not won a major crown since limping through a playoff to capture the 2008 US Open.
But Woods has been in solid recent form. He won the World Golf Challenge charity event he hosts last December, shared third at Abu Dhabi to open the 2012 season and shared second at the Honda Classic earlier this month after shooting a 62 on Sunday, the best final round of his career.