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Thompson holds nerve to win in Florida

ESPN staff
March 3, 2013 « Wenger points finger at poor defending | Chartbeat test »
Michael Thompson won the Honda Classic © PA Photos
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Honda Classic leaderboard

American Michael Thompson claimed the first significant victory of his professional career with a two-shot triumph at the Honda Classic.

Thompson, who emerged as one to watch as he contended strongly for last year's US Open, held his nerve over the difficult closing stretch at PGA National on a windy day to complete a final round of 69, good enough for a nine-under par winning total.

A birdie at the last, after a gutsy par at the water-lined par-three 17th, enabled him to hold off the late charge of Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

"I wanted to just stick to a game plan just like I've been saying all week," Thompson said. "This week was magical, just find a groove, keep believing."

As overnight joint-leader Luke Guthrie fell away, Thompson held his nerve during an erratic front nine that saw him acquire an eagle, two birdies and three bogeys. Six successive pars to start the back nine then had him in control of the tournament until he dropped a shot at the 16th - but the right response over the remaining two holes ultimately secured the victory.

Ogilvy, who chipped in on the 16th on the way to a final round of 69, had to settle for second.

Guthrie eventually finished third, with England's David Lynn and Justin Rose among a group of players to share fourth at three-under.

Lee Westwood finished a shot further back after a disappointing round of 74, but nevertheless finished inside the top ten - as did Graeme McDowell.

Earlier in the day, Tiger Woods completed an unremarkable tournament - by his standards, at least - as a round of 74 saw him finish just inside the top 40.

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