Tiger, U.S. Recaptures Cup

The United States recaptured the World Cup on Sunday, with Tiger Woods shooting the best total score in tournament history and the Americans beating Spain by five strokes.

Woods' 21-under-par 263 added to Mark O'Meara's 282 sent the United States past Spain 545 to 550.

O'Meara managed only a 6-over 77 Sunday but Woods made up for that with a 65, and the United States took the $400,000 team prize. Spain's Miguel Angel Martin shot 68 for 273, and Santiago Luna slumped to a 72 for 277.

"Tiger rose to the occasion," O'Meara said. "He met the challenge."

Woods won $100,000 for best individual score, his fifth personal triumph in his last six tournaments and ninth in 13. It was his 13th victory in a row in tournaments in which he has led after 54 holes.

His 263 total beat the 265 set by Fred Couples in the 1994 World Cup, although Couples was 23 under on the par-72 course in Puerto Rico.

Woods finished nine shots ahead of New Zealand's Frank Nobilo, the largest victory margin for the individual title. Sam Snead set the previous record of eight strokes in the 1961 World Cup.

Woods and O'Meara started the final round with a seven-shot lead over Spain thanks to Woods' course record-tying 63 Saturday.

"It's just awesome," said O'Meara, the 1998 Masters and British Open champion. "It's only going to get better for Tiger Woods."

The United States has won 22 of the 45 World Cups. This was its first victory since Couples and Davis Love III swept four in a row from 1992 through 1995.

Ireland finished third in the 32-team field, followed by Argentina and Sweden.

Next year, the World Cup will become the fourth event of the World Golf Championships. It will change from stroke play to best-ball and alternate-shot competition.

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