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Golf: Carnage as big guns are slain in Match Play.

THE Accenture Match Play Championship is historically a graveyard for the big names - until Tiger Woods won back-to-back the last two years there had not been a winner of the event who started shorter than 80-1 - and more glamourpusses bit the dust at La Costa yesterday, writes Steve Palmer.

World No. 2 Woods was 9-2 favourite at the start of the week and was expected to overpower Australian left-hander Nick O'Hern in their second-round clash yesterday. Tiger outhit his opponent off the tee by a total of 409 yards over the first eight holes, but accuracy succeeded over length in the end and O'Hern won three and one.

That shocker followed No. 1 seed Vijay Singh being dumped out of the event by Jay Haas.

F ourth-favourite Darren Clarke was ousted in Thursday's first round, and his great friend Lee Westwood was also sent packing yesterday. Last year's losing finalist, Davis Love, completely outclassed Westwood, winning by the old dog-licence - seven and six. Phil Mickelson, gunning for three tournament wins in his last three starts, assumed favouritism at 3.95 on Betfair last night by beating Angel Cabrera four and three.

Ian Poulter, who took out Chris Riley, Duffy Waldorf and John Huston on his debut in the event last year, is playing the best golf of anyone this week, and demolished Stuart Appleby six and five yesterday. P oulter was 150-1 with Ladbrokes at the outset.

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Vijay Singh Sent packing
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2005
Words:243
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