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Tiger plays nice, then plays badly

Tiger Woods shakes the hand of former caddie Steve Williams then teams with Steve Stricker to lose 7 and 6 at the Presidents Cup.

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Tiger Woods shakes the hand of former caddie Steve Williams then teams with Steve Stricker to lose 7 and 6 at the Presidents Cup.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Tiger Woods made the first move, reaching out to shake hands with his ex-caddie. Twelve holes later, as short a Presidents Cup match that has ever been played, Steve Williams had the last laugh.

In the 112 matches of various formats that Woods has played in his pro career, he never had a loss like Thursday's. He and Steve Stricker didn't win a hole and didn't make a birdie in tying the Presidents Cup record for the worst loss, 7 and 6 to Adam Scott, with Williams on his bag, and K.J. Choi.

"We were just slightly off," said Woods, who fired Williams in July. "On a golf course like this, it doesn't take much."

The squabble meant nothing to Scott, who has tried to stay out of the fray even after Williams disparaged Woods with a racial comment two weeks ago. Woods didn't make too much of it either.

"I put my hand out there to shake it, and life goes forward," he said. "There's some great things that Steve and I did. I know he probably looks at it differently than I do. But, hey, life goes forward, and I'm very happy with what we've done in our career together."

Despite the loss, the Americans led the International team 4-2 after Day 1's alternate shot matches. They got help from two rallies.

Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar won the last two holes with pars to halve their match against Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley. Nick Watney and Bill Haas trailed by two with four holes left but halved with Geoff Ogilvy and Charl Schwartzel.

"My guys felt like they let a few matches slip away, no question about it," International captain Greg Norman said. "But they all understand. It's the game of golf."

Today matches are best ball. Saturday pairings are split between alternate shot and best ball. And Sunday features singles matches.

LPGA: Na Yeon Choi shot 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over Morgan Pressel and Karrie Webb after the first round of the season-ending Titleholders in Orlando. Choi birdied five holes on the back nine. Pressel, winless on the tour since 2008, also had five birdies on the back nine. Webb, who has only two top-10 finishes since winning the tour's second and third events this year, had four on the back nine. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 2-under 70.

Hall of Fame: Hollis Stacy, who won the U.S. Women's Open in 1977, 1978 and 1984, was selected via the veterans category. She won 18 times overall in 26 years on the LPGA tour, including the 1983 Peter Jackson Classic (later renamed the du Maurier Classic). She, Phil Mickelson and others to be announced will be inducted May 7 in St. Augustine.

Tiger plays nice, then plays badly 11/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 9:54pm]

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