Chalmers beats Woods to Australian title

Sydney: Local-born Greg Chalmers shot a three-under-par 69 to win his second Australian Open by one stroke on Sunday as Tiger Woods`s quest to end his two-year title drought came up just short.

Chalmers was made to sweat in the clubhouse as his compatriot John Senden went close with a 35-foot birdie putt at the 18th that would have forced a playoff but ultimately his total of 13-under was enough to secure the Stonehaven Cup.

A day shy of the second anniversary of his 95th and last title win at the 2009 Australian Masters, Woods came from six shots back overnight to hit a 67 and finish in third place on 11-under.

"It could have been really low today, a couple of drives on the back nine cost me," the 35-year-old Woods, who chipped in for an eagle at the 14th hole, said.

"I fought real hard all day but it looks as though I`ve come up just short.”

"I`m just going to keep plugging along. It`s just nice to be playing and not on the sidelines."

Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy shot the best round of the day with a 65 to take a share of fourth place on nine-under with compatriots Adam Scott (68), Jason Day (74) and Nick O`Hern (72) as well as American Nick Watney (72).

Chalmers, who won his first Australian Open back in 1998, started the day with birdies on his first two holes and held at least a share of the lead for the remainder of his round.

The 38-year-old lefthander stuttered with two bogies before the turn but he sandwiched a birdie between them and two more in a flawless back nine put him in the clubhouse with a two-shot lead.

Overnight leader Senden made a calamitous start with four bogeys in his first seven holes and his hopes of a second title to go along with his 2006 triumph looked all but gone at the turn.

He stormed back with four birdies over the back nine, and having missed his final putt by inches, finished with a 72 to stand at 12-under for the tournament.

World number seven Day, seeking his first Australian Open title five years after he last played on home soil, also made a poor start, finding the water at the first and the sandy rough at the third to drop two shots.

The 24-year-old steadied his round with back-to-back birdies at the seventh and eighth but lacked the fluency of his play on the first three days and faded to a share of fourth.

Bureau Report

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