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Date added: 13 November 2005

ARCHIVE: 'Cool Dude' David Howell Tames the Tiger 

Swindon star secures HSBC Champions title after shoot-out with world number one
 
David Howell
Victory in China:
David Howell proudly shows off the
HSBC Champions Trophy
Swindon golfer David Howell sprung a 'Shanghai Surprise' on Tiger Woods today when he outscored the world number to win the HSBC Champions Trophy.

The Broome Manor member held off the American, and hot favourite for the title, in a tense final round of Asia's richest event to bank a winner's cheque of 475,000.

The victory also propelled Howell to the top of the 2006 European Tour Order of Merit and provided a major boost his Ryder Cup aspirations - a key target for 30-year-old professional.

"I'm very ambitious and winning events like this is the sort of thing I want to be doing," a delighted Howell said.

"Qualifying for the Ryder Cup team for next year is so important for me and the points I've won today have got me off to the best possible start. I couldn't be happier."
 
David Howell
 
Played at the Sheshan International Golf Club, just outside Shanghai in China, Howell had entered the final round as joint-leader with a two shot advantage over Woods.

The last time they had clashed had come in the third round of the US Masters in April. Woods won it by eleven shots in a round that many commentators described as the 'best round of golf in major championship history'.

But after admitting to feeling nervous at the prospect of playing alongside the ten-time major winner again, Howell shrugged off any anxiety to produce a blistering start that this time left Woods trailing behind him.
 
'Cool Dude'

Accurate driving and crisp iron play harvested birdies on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th to extend his lead, with only a mini-wobble on the 8th and 9th giving his rivals any hope of reducing the deficit.

Tiger Woods
Impressed:
World number one Tiger Woods
described David Howell as a
'Cool Dude' after being beaten
into second
But birdies on ten and thirteen, and Woods bogey on the 16th, where the Open Champion found water, allowed Howell to walk up eighteen with a comfortable lead.

He eventually holed out for a 68, to triumph by three strokes with a four round total of -20. Woods finished second on -17. World number two VJ Singh came in 5th on -13. US Open champion Michael Campbell finished on -10.

Explaining his excellent form on the final day, Howell said: "I hit the ball exactly how I wanted to. And I holed crucial putts when I needed them, especially around the turn."

"It feels great to have come up against the best when under pressure and come out on top," he added

HSBC Champions
Celebrating the success were also David's friends at Broome Manor Golf Club, who watched the action unfold via satellite, and, of course, his father, Ray, who was once again overjoyed at his son's victory.

"He deserves everything he gets," Ray said, "I couldn't be more proud of what he's achieved."

This victory is believed to have shot Howell into the world top ten. The rankings are revealed tomorrow [14 November].
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