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Woods finishes strongly, Fowler masterclass seals title

3 December 2017 22:12

Tiger Woods finished strongly before Rickie Fowler broke the course record with the lowest round of his career to win the Hero World Challenge by four shots.

Woods struggled on Saturday after leading for a short time during the second round of his first competitive event for 10 months, but his swagger was back in the Bahamas on Sunday.

The 14-time major champion lit up the front nine at the Albany Golf Course, hitting the turn in 31 for the second time this week before having to settle for a four-under 68 to finish in a share of ninth on eight under.

Woods unleashed some huge drives - one in particular setting up an eagle - and was far more assured on the greens in improved conditions after enduring a torrid third round.

The 41-year-old did not hold back as he completed an encouraging comeback without showing any signs of being in pain after undergoing a fourth back operation in April.

Tournament host Woods made three birdies on the front nine and there were huge cheers when he holed a tricky putt for an eagle two at the 350-yard par-four seventh, set up by a mammoth tee shot which ended up beyond the pin.

He reeled off three more birdies after a double bogey at 10, but dropped another shot at 17 following an errant tee shot and ended a promising return in disappointing fashion with a three-putt bogey at the last.

Charley Hoffman started the day with a five-shot lead, but Fowler conjured up a tournament-record 11-under 61 to deny his fellow American.

Fowler was in a class of his own in a scintillating exhibition, birdying the first seven holes and surging into a two-shot lead by going out in 28.

The world number nine added another three birdies after the turn to take command, winning at a canter as Hoffman could only manage a level-par 72.

Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth finished in a tie for third place on 12 under.

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