More woe for US golf

From Brian Keogh in Tucson

American golf slumped further into crisis as US players flopped in the Accenture World Match Play in Tucson.

Just six months after another crushing Ryder Cup defeat, there were no Americans in last night's decider for the first time in the event's history.

But local pundits were already writing off home interest in the WGC event once Tiger Woods had crashed out to Nick O'Hern on Friday.

Headlines screamed: "He's gone and the who's who becomes who's he" as a Swede, two Britons, a South African, two Aussies, a Texan and a Canadian made the last eight.

Once the likes of Woods, Phil Mickelson, Charles Howell and Jim Furyk had been eliminated, interest in the championship dwindled.

Just 7,000 ticket holders were expected at The Gallery Golf Club for the final between world No 8 Henrik Stenson and US Open champion Ogilvy.

But just a fraction of those got up early to watch the first 18 holes of a fascinating 36-hole final.

World No 11 Ogilvy was certain to replace Padraig Harrington in the top ten with victory guaranteeing him seventh place in the new ranking.

Swede Stenson - two up after the first 18 holes - was also certain to improve from eighth to fifth with a win or seventh if he lost.