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March 4, 2013

Thompson wins Honda for 1st tour title

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — On a long, hard day at the Honda Classic, Michael Thompson relied on a superb short game to win for the first time on the PGA Tour.

Thompson seized control early with a 50-foot eagle putt on the third hole, then kept his distance with clutch par saves and closed with a birdie from the bunker. It gave him a 1-under 69 — one of only five rounds under par at PGA National — and a two-shot win over Geoff Ogilvy.

“This week was magical,” Thompson said. “Just had a groove and kept feeling it.”

It was a big week for Ogilvy, too.

The former U.S. Open champion had plunged to No. 79 in the world ranking and already missed the Match Play Championship. He was prepared for another week off next week until putting together four solid rounds.

He chipped in from behind the 16th green for birdie and two-putted for birdie on the 18th for a 69. The runner-up finish moves him into the top 50 (No. 47) and gets him into the World Golf Championship at Doral.

Luke Guthrie, tied with Thompson for the 54-hole lead, fell behind with a bogey on the second hole and closed with a 73 to finish third.

Tiger Woods was never in the picture.

He started the final round eight shots behind, and whatever hopes he had of a rally ended on the sixth hole when he hit his drive so far to the right that the ball was never found.

Woods took double bogey, and only an eagle on the final hole kept the damage to a minimum. He closed with a 74 — his first time since the Masters last year that he failed to break par in any round of a 72-hole tournament — and tied for 37th.

It was the second straight year Woods closed with an eagle at PGA National — the difference was last year, it gave him a 62 and a tie for second.

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