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16 Oct 2008 08:50
American Jim Furyk eagled the first play-off hole on Wednesday to defeat Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and win the 26th PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Harrington, the British Open and PGA Championship winner, and Furyk each fired a two-under-par 68 for the second day in a row at the Mid-Ocean Club to stand on 136 entering the play-off.
Furyk, who birdied the par-five 18th hole to complete regulation play and force the play-off, eagled the same hole to take the title, a birdie by Harrington on the extra hole not proving enough to even extend the duel.
South African Retief Goosen fired a one-over 71 to finish third on 141, four strokes ahead of compatriot Trevor Immelman, the Masters champion, who fired a 69 Wednesday after struggling to a 76 in the first round.
The 36-hole showdown was supposed to match the year’s four Grand Slam champions, but US Open champion Tiger Woods is injured and Harrington won two Majors, so Furyk and Goosen filled the field in the $1,35-million event.
Furyk won $600 000, twice the runner-up money for Harrington, while Goosen took home $250 000 and Immelman $200 000.
Harrington opened and closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies, sandwiched around a bogey at the fifth, and stretched his lead to two strokes with another birdie at the 11th.
Even when Harrington took a bogey at the par-four 12th, Furyk also made bogey to stay two strokes back while Goosen made a triple-bogey at 12, stumbling from four strokes to six off the pace.
Furyk, who had birdied the par-three third and par-four sixth holes, then birdied the par-three 13th to close within a stroke and the US veteran took a one-stroke lead when Harrington took a double-bogey at the par-four 15th.
Harrington reclaimed the lead with a birdie at the par-three 17th while Furyk took a bogey on the hole. But Furyk answered with a birdie on 18 to force the playoff.—Sapa-AFP
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