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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Casey wins Valspar as Woods finishes one stroke behind

Sports Shorts: Casey wins Valspar as Woods finishes one stroke behind

March 12, 2018 14:01 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Monday

Paul Casey poses with the trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament at Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida on Monday

IMAGE: Paul Casey poses with the trophy after winning the Valspar Championship golf tournament at Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Florida on Monday. Photograph: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Englishman Paul Casey surged to victory at the Valspar Championship in Florida on Sunday as Tiger Woods came tantalisingly close to ending his five-year drought.

Woods, who finished one stroke behind Casey, lamented a "couple of putts here and there" that could have led to his 80th PGA Tour victory.

His solid performance, however, provided further proof that he is a force again after last April's spinal fusion surgery on his lower back.

 

The old Tiger magic was mostly missing on Sunday as the 14-times major champion tried to record his 80th PGA Tour victory, and his first since 2013.

Missing, that is, until the par-three 17th, where Woods perfectly read and then executed a 43-foot birdie putt, his ball curling deliciously into the centre of the cup as the gallery went berserk.

But Woods could not replicate the magic at the par-four 18th, where he missed a difficult 40-foot birdie putt that would have forced a playoff with Casey.

Woods carded 70 and had to settle for second with fellow American Patrick Reed (68), who made an embarrassing bogey at the last when his first putt, through the fringe, failed to make it up the hill and rolled all the way back to his feet.

When the dust settled, Casey, long in the clubhouse with a 65 for 10-under 274, could finally celebrate his second victory on the PGA Tour.

Woods, meanwhile, kept his eye on the long game as he prepares for the April 5-8 Masters at Augusta National.

"I believe my game is progressing," he said.

"I had really some nice building blocks at Honda (equal 12th two weeks ago) and I've had a few tweaks for this week and it paid off.

"Just a couple of things with my set-up and I was just trying to get my posture organised a little bit more ... little things (that) just make for better passes through the golf ball."

Australia beat England to win Azlan Shah title

World champions Australian Men's Hockey Team beat defending champions England 2-1 in the final of the six-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Malaysia, lifting the title for the 10th time.

Argentina finished third, after beating Malaysia 3-2 in the classification match for the third place, and the hosts ended at the fourth spot.

Indian team ended their campaign in the fifth position, after defeating Ireland 4-1 in the classification match for the fifth and sixth places.

India had bowed out of the medal race, as they lost 2-3 against the same opponents in their last league match on Friday.

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