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WOODS SAILS; MICKELSON STUMBLES

Victories came in all shapes and sizes in the Match Play Championship, whether it was an easy time for Tiger Woods, overtime for Steve Stricker or Phil Mickelson now getting to spend time with his kids.

Anything goes in this format, and 16 players went home Thursday, some in cruel fashion.

"Match play is an animal that's all about the moment," Woods said after his 3-and-2 victory over Arron Oberholser. "It's not about building toward Sunday. If you don't play well, you're going home."

Or in the case of Mickelson, you can play great and still go home.

He birdied his first two holes. He hit a 3-wood from 317 yards to 5 feet for eagle on the 635-yard fifth hole. He added three birdies in a four-hole stretch to start the back nine. And he lost on the 17th hole to Stuart Appleby's ninth birdie of the round.

"It was a good match, but unfortunately, I just didn't shoot low enough," Mickelson said. He has never made it past the quarterfinals.

Stricker delivered the dramatics against Hunter Mahan, closing with three straight birdies to win in 20 holes for the second straight day. Stricker made a 10-foot birdie on the 19th hole to stay in the match, then buried a birdie putt just inside 50 feet on the next hole to advance.

LPGA: Michelle Wie made sure she didn't get too far ahead of herself in her first tournament of the year.

Telling herself to "stay in the present," Wie shot 3-under 69 in the Fields Open in Kapolei, Hawaii to finish five strokes behind first-round leader Jeong Jang.

Showing no signs of the wrist injuries that plagued her last year, Wie broke 70 for the first time since the Ladies Masters in July 2006.

"You know, I don't really feel like I have to prove myself to anyone," she said. "I just was really proud of myself today that I didn't think about anything but just playing. I just played today."

Jang, the 2005 British Open champion, opened with 8-under 64, making nine birdies in a spectacular 16-hole stretch. Paula Creamer shot 66, birdieing the last three holes for 5-under 31 on the back nine.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome shot 69 and Annika Sorenstam opened with 70.

PGA: Playing crisply on a course he designed, Greg Norman was making his way up the leaderboard at the Mayakoba Classic, using a run of birdies to get into a tie for fifth in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Then his tournament rustiness kicked in.

Norman's concentration wavered when a clump of grass blew across his ball in a bunker on his 16th hole. Instead of pausing, he hit - and didn't make it out. Then it happened again. Norman wound up with double bogey. Another lapse on the next hole resulted in a three-putt from about 12 feet for bogey.

After coming up inches short of birdie on the final hole, Norman walked off with a par round of 70 - tied for 40th, along with 18 others. He is trying to make the cut for the first time since the 2005 British Open.

The field is chasing John Merrick, who holed a roughly 50-foot putt on his final shot for 6-under 64.

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