Love Conquers the World

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It wasn't an official win, but it sure was a meaningful one.
 
Davis Love III fired a blemish-free 8-under-par 64 Sunday to earn a come-from-behind victory over Tiger Woods (69) and Sergio Garcia (73) at the Williams World Challenge, his first win of any kind since the 1998 MCI Classic.
 
Love began the day at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., trailing leader Garcia by four shots; while tournament host and Love nemesis Woods was a full three strokes clear of Sunday's protagonist.
 
Garcia and Woods were scheduled for a head-to-head Sunday showdown; however, neither man was able to pull away from Love - let alone each other.
 
Love III comments on his Williams World Challenge win.
 
Woods played the front nine in 1-under-par to move to 18-under for the tournament, two shots lower than his playing companion, who despite an eagle at the par-5 2nd, carded three straight bogeys beginning at the 6th.
 
Garcia had held at least a share of the lead since he eagled the 2nd in Thursday's first round. Leading by one at the par-4 7th, the Spaniard hit his tee shot into the boulders residing in the center of the fairway, 300 yards removed from the tee box.
 
That was the second of three consecutive bogeys, the third of which cost Garcia the top spot on the leaderboard for the first time in his last 60 holes played.
 
Garcia made an early run on the outward half by recording his fourth eagle of the week at the par-5 11th. But a couple of pars on both back-nine par-5s, combined with a double-bogey 5 at the 17th cost the 20-year-old any chance he had of winning the $1 million first-prize.
 
Love first earned a share of the lead when he chipped in for birdie at the par-4 9th. The next two holes ultimately determined the tournament.
 
Love added his fourth birdie in his last six holes at the par-4 10th. Tiger made a bogey. At the 11th, Love rolled in an eagle putt. Tiger only managed a birdie.
 
After both men had played the first two holes on the back nine, Love held a two-shot advantage at 20-under-par. That cushion would remain down the stretch as Love and Woods each posted a pair of birdies over their final seven holes.
 
'Obviously, it was a great day,' said Love. 'I knew I had to go out and shoot a good score and I did. I was very patient today.'
 
The victory was of primary importance because it came over Tiger, at his tournament. Woods had been the bane of Love's professional existence ever since the rookie defeated the veteran in a playoff at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational.
 
Woods comments on his 2nd place finish.
 
All told, Love has finished second to Woods on three 'official' occasions. But that doesn't count the number of match-play losses, the disappointing rounds when paired together, the mental frustrations.
 
Love will now be looking to follow in the footsteps of Tom Lehman, who won the inaugural Williams World Challenge in January, and then captured the Phoenix Open less than a month later for his first PGA Tour title since 1996.
 
'It was important that I putted good for two days,' said Love, who also shot 64 while paired with Woods on Friday. 'The money is great, beating Tiger and Sergio is great, but making the pressure putts on Sunday is the best.'
 
This event benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, which is geared toward helping introduce the game of golf to disadvantaged youths. Woods donated the entirety of his $500,000 second-place check to his foundation.
 
Woods will now travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina to play in the World Golf Championship-EMC World Cup with partner David Duval.