U.S. Open champion

Graeme McDowell

sank two clutch putts that gave him the greatest comeback ever against

Tiger Woods


McDowell holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole to force a playoff yesterday in the Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif., then made another birdie putt from a little longer away to deny Woods - who held a four-shot lead entering the final round - a victory in his final tournament of the year.

"Probably two of the great putts I've made," McDowell said.

It was the first time Woods has ever lost a tournament when leading by at least three shots going into the final round.

"I'm proud of the way I played today, even though I lost," Woods said.

McDowell closed with a 69, while Woods shot a 73 to match him at 16-under 272. They were four shots clear of Paul Casey, who had a 69 to finish alone in third.

In other golf news:

* Maria Hjorth shot a final-round 72 to finish at 5-under 283 and win the LPGA Tour Championship in Orlando, Fla.

* Lee Westwood cemented his year-end No. 1 ranking with a victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. Westwood finished at 17-under 271 to win by eight strokes.

* Geoff Ogilvy closed with a 3-under 69 for a four-stroke, 19-under 269, victory in the Australian Open in Sydney.

* In a vote of the players, Rickie Fowler was selected the top rookie on the PGA Tour.


* Ted Ligety won the World Cup giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo.

* Lindsey Vonn won the women's World Cup super-G race at Lake Louise, Alberta.

Sport Stops

* The trade of All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from his hometown San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox is all but finalized, two people with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press. The Red Sox called a news conference for this morning. The Padres would receive minor league righthander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes, plus a player to be determined.

* Adriana Leon scored in the 63rd minute as Notre Dame (21-2-2) defeated Stanford, 1-0, in Cary, N.C., to win its third NCAA Women's College Cup soccer championship. Stanford (23-1-2) had won 22 consecutive games.

* Josh Cox, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., won the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in 2 hours, 25 minutes, 5 seconds, and Dorota Gruca, a native of Poland, took the women's race (2:44.31). Scott Bauhs (1:02.39) won the men's half-marathon and former Villanova star Jen Rhines (1:14.57) won the women's.

* Serbia celebrated its first Davis Cup title, becoming only the second unseeded nation to win the trophy when Viktor Troicki beat Michael Llodra, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, to complete a 3-2 comeback win over France in the competition in Belgrade, Serbia.