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October 10, 2009

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Woods apologizes for outburst by fan

TIGER Woods was left to apologize for a heckler after he and Steve Stricker crushed their International opponents to earn the United States a victory in the opening foursomes at the Presidents Cup on Thursday.

A scowling Woods had shook his head after first a ringing cell phone and then a rowdy fan disrupted play at the third hole of their match against Japan's Ryo Ishikawa and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.

But Woods offered no more than sympathy as the American duo destroyed their opponents mercilessly, winning 6 and 4.

The featured match of the opening day took on a charged atmosphere more generally associated with the Ryder Cup when Ogilvy was set to attempt an eight-foot putt to halve the third hole.

A ringing cell phone forced Ogilvy to back off his putt five times, bringing angry calls from the Australian's caddie for the gallery to turn off their phones.

When a flustered Ogilvy was finally about to make the shot a heckler shouted "miss it" and the ball rolled past the lip, triggering outrage from the huge gallery.

"It was one of the marshals who had a cell phone and it kept going off," said Woods, who apologized to Ogilvy after the incident. "The only part that was intentional was the guy yelling out, which was absolutely uncalled for.

"This is not what golf is all about. This is not what this team event is all about.

"We all felt bad for Geoff because that's not the situation you want to be put in and unfortunately he was in it."

Ogilvy and Ishikawa never appeared to recover from that episode as Woods and Stricker went two up, racking up four birdies on the first six holes in a bogey-free round.


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