Woods overcomes Howell's stray driving to seal victory

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MONTREAL, Sep 28 (Reuters) Tiger Woods and Charles Howell III overcame wayward driving by the latter to win their foursomes match against Internationals K J Choi and Nick O'Hern 3&1 at the Presidents Cup.

Howell, who has struggled for consistency on the 2007 PGA Tour after a storming start that featured victory at the Nissan Open, battled all day off the tees.

In eight attempts in the alternate shot format, he missed six fairways but world number one Woods carried him through, hitting a sparkling 129-foot iron shot to three feet on the 17th hole to seal victory.

Just one hole earlier, the Americans and Internationals were each forced to take penalty strokes after finding water left off the tee.

Woods then answered a spectacular fairway metal shot from O'Hern, who was 41 yards behind him and in the rough, by firing his ball to 15 feet on the sharply elevated green. Howell drained the putt.

''It put us dormie. It basically gave us a shot of momentum after they just birdied 15,'' Woods told reporters.

Howell, 28, playing in his second Presidents Cup, said he was thankful to be paired with his good friend.

''He treats me extremely well and he has a very big calming effect on me, on the golf course,'' Howell said.

The win was revenge of sorts for Woods over O'Hern, who has beaten him twice in World Match Play events.

''Yeah, he did get me twice, but that's just the nature of it, you know. It's 18 holes,'' Woods said.

Woods will be paired with Jim Furyk in Friday's second four-ball match against the Internationals' Vijay Singh and Stuart Appleby.

Howell tees off with 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson against South Africa's Ernie Els and Canadian Mike Weir.

REUTERS BJR PM1017

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