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Lake Nona Runs Away with Tavistock Cup


Thanks to a 7-under 65 by Oliver Wilson, the six-man team from Lake Nona cruised to a 16-stroke victory in the Tavistock Cup. The annual two-day event, which for the first time this year featured four teams, was played Monday and Tuesday at Isleworth Golf Club in Orlando.

Wilson's outstanding round came early Tuesday, but it held up throughout the day to earn the 30-year-old from England the Payne Stewart Silver Salver emblematic of the low individual score in the second round.

Lake Nona also featured Ross Fisher, Retief Goosen, Peter Hanson, Graeme McDowell and Henrik Stenson. Each player on Team Lake Nona shot under-par rounds. Stenson contributed with a 4-under 68, while Goosen had a 71, Hanson a 70, McDowell a 70 and Fisher a 70.

Lake Nona finished 43-under, while Albany, a new entry this year, ended up in second at 27-under; Isleworth 25-under; and the fourth new club in the competition, Queenswood, a new luxury resort community in The Bahamas, 18-under.

The Queenwood group included Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke, David Howell, Soren Kjeldsen, Paul McGinley and Adam Scott, who carded a 5-under 67.

Isleworth, whose squad included Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Brian Davis, J.B. Holmes, Lee Janzen and Sean O'Hair, combined to shoot 30-under par in Monday's best-ball format to take a two-stroke lead. But the home team couldn't sustain that margin, although Allenby had a 6-under 66 to finish behind Wilson for Tuesday's low round.

Albany, an upscale club outside London, boasted Arjun Atwal, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Trevor Immelman. Poulter had his team's low score, a 67. Woods played for Albany even though Isleworth is his home club.

Woods, who birdied the par-4 18th hole for a 3-under 69, enjoys the annual competition and, especially this year, his pairing with the gregarious Irishman, Clarke. The two bantered back and forth all round long.

"The camaraderie is great - these are all good guys," Woods said during a greenside interview. "There was some serious needling out there today."

Reigning U.S. Open champion McDowell, a native of Northern Ireland, relished the challenge of going against the world's best players and was happy with his round. "The game's simmering a bit," McDowell said before the awards ceremony. "Looking forward to the next couple of weeks."

One of the tournaments on McDowell's upcoming schedule is, of course, the Masters in April. The Tavistock Cup serves as a good primer for the competition that he - and the rest of the players - will find in the first major of the year.

Of the Masters, Woods added, "I've always loved playing there. I can't wait."

The 2012 Tavistock Cup may add another four teams.