American Heath Slocum was the unlikely winner of The Barclays at Liberty National on Sunday, winning the title with a splendid 21ft putt on the 18th.
Slocum had started the tournament ranked at 124th in a field of 125 and had gone into the final round four shots off the pace. He put himself in contention for the top prize following an eagle at the fifth, holing from 158 yards.
Sharing second place were Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Padraig Hamilton and Steve Stricker. Stricker had arrived at the final hole with Slocum but missed the chance to force a play off when his 10ft par putt trickled past the hole.
The victorious Heath Slocum said after his win at Liberty National:
“That’s what it’s all about. I was sweating it out last week. I didn’t even know if I’d be here. I came in here with the attitude that I had nothing to lose.”
The 35-year-old now heads into next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship ranked third following his first PGA Tour victory since 2005, earning him $1.35m (£830,905) in the process.
Yesterday saw an enthralling match play between wordl number 1 Tiger Woods and Y.E. Yang, as Yang became the first South Korean to win a major tournament by beating Tiger Woods by three shots to finish on 8 under to claim victory at the 2009 US PGA Championship at the tricky Hazeltine National golf course in Minnesota.
Tiger Woods was looking to claim his fifteenth major victory and had never given up a lead going into the final round. But yesterday Tiger Woods missed several putts, while Yang kept his cool throughout the final round and eventually took the lead with a fantastic eagle chip on the 14th. A lead he held on to as Tiger pushed him all the way.
Yang Yong-Eun completed a fantastic round of 70 on the final day while Tiger shot a loose 75. The conditions were difficult but Yang appeared calm and relaxed.
Like all the commentators I expected Tiger to grind out another victory but all credit to Yang who played the better golf.
Yang’s victory in the last major of the 2009 season means that Tiger Woods failed to win any of the majors this year on his return from injury.
Rory McIlroy was the highest place British golfer in third place on 3 under.
The USPGA Championship ended the first round today with Tiger Woods leading the pack followed closely by defending champion Padraig Harrington.
Renewing the rivalry from the World Club Championships last week, Woods hit a faultless first round finishing five under par on 67. Harrington is one shot down on Woods, recording a 68 after hitting a bogey on the tenth, but five birdies in the finish.
Both players appear to be on top of their game right now and practically matched one another around the Hazeltine course. Australian Robert Allenby who tied with Harrington for second place at the World Golf Championships, is currently one shot behind the Irishman on 69 in third place which is shared with Mahan, Goggin and Quiros.
Lee Westwood shares fourth place with Goydos, Jaidee and McDowell, they are all tied on two under at 70, making up the top ten on the leaderboard.
Paul Casey, England’s World number three, made a last minute withdrawal from the USPGA Championship after failing to shake off a rib injury that has plagued him since before the British Open in July.
The 32 year old Englishman was forced out of last weeks World Golf Championships after just six holes. He has since focused on the USPGA and was optimistic last night that he would be fit enough to tee off at Hazeltine.
Casey completed a nine hole round yesterday with no problems, also spending time on the practise range followed by intensive treatment to the injury.
His place in the USPGA Championship will be taken by Tom Petrovic.
British Open runner up Tom Watson has turned down the offer of a place in the USPGA Championship, next week in Minnesota. The Open’s unlikely hero says he already has long standing family plans, but greatly appreciated the invitation to play at Hazeltine.
Watson won the hearts of the golfing world with his incredible form at Turnberry , managing to steal the thunder from his victor Stewart Cink even in defeat.
The veteran American will be at Augusta for the Masters in April next year and will also compete in what will almost certainly be his last British Open at St Andrews in July. The Royal & Ancient club have an age limit of 60 for past champions and Watson reaches that age next year.