Monday, April 19, 2010

Furyk defeats Davis in PGA playoff

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, South Carolina — US veteran Jim Furyk has won his second PGA title in two months, defeating England's Brian Davis in a playoff to take the 5.7 million-dollar Heritage Classic.

Having gone two years without a victory, Furyk added the 1.026 million-dollar top prize to his victory in last month's Transitions Championship and boosted his career title total to 15.

Furyk won the sudden-death playoff on Sunday with a par on the first extra hole after Davis called a penalty on himself following a miserable approach.

"It was one of those things I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. And I thought we'd check on TV, and indeed there was movement," Davis said.

Davis sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to equalize after he and Furyk each finished 72 holes on 13-under par 271. Davis fired a closing 68, one stroke under Furyk, who tapped in a four-footer for par to force the playoff.

"To have the tournament come down that way is definitely not the way I wanted to win," Furyk said. "It's obviously a tough loss for him and I respect and admire what he did.

"I want to react to the crowd and kind of wave and let them know, that 'Hey, I'm excited.' But I don't want it to take away from Brian."

The playoff began with a replay of the 18th but Davis could not match his good fortune from just minutes earlier.

Davis sent his approach over the green and off rocks before the ball landed at the base of the elevated green, where Furyk's ball sat at the back edge.

Furyk rolled his ball four feet from the cup, then Davis chipped from the marsh bed onto the green 30 feet beyond the hole.

After making the shot, Davis called rules officials over, saying he had struck a dead reed on his backswing before hitting the ball. Television replay confirmed he struck the loose impediment and a two-stroke penalty was imposed.

Davis missed the long putt for double bogey and shook hands with Furyk, who tapped in his par putt to complete the victory.

Furyk had opened the door to Davis with a bogey at the 14th but Davis took bogeys at the par-5 15th and par-4 16th to fall a stroke behind before his clutch birdie on the 72nd hole of the event.

England's Luke Donald and American Bo Van Pelt shared third on 274, one steoke head of Americans Kris Blanks and Ricky Barnes and Colombian Camilo Villegas.

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