Penalty hands Furyk victory

Brian Davis called a penalty on himself during a play-off with Jim Furyk to hand the American the Verizon Heritage.

England’s Brian Davis is still searching for his maiden US PGA Tour victory after he called a penalty on himself during a sudden-death play-off with Jim Furyk at the Verizon Heritage in South Carolina.
Davis, with three runner-up finishes in the last four seasons, had forced the play-off at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island with a 72nd hole birdie to pull level with overnight leader Furyk.
The pair went back to the 18th tee and Davis found himself in trouble after sending his second shot off greenside rocks onto the beach, the ball resting amidst short reeds in a hazard area.
As American world number six Furyk stood over a five-foot par putt, Davis decided to play from where his ball lay for his third shot rather than take a penalty drop and leave himself a chip for par.
He chipped onto the green, but the shot proved irrelevant as Davis called a penalty on himself for touching a loose impediment with his club during his back swing.
Davis informed PGA Tour rules chief Slugger White, who after consulting with colleagues, determined a two-shot penalty was in order, leaving Furyk to hole out for victory.
The tournament had not looked as if it would turn into a two-horse race with 21 players within six shots of the lead after the third round, seven of whom, including England’s Luke Donald, were just two shots behind Furyk’s mark of 10 under par at the start of the day.
Donald, without a win since the 2006 Honda Classic, was at 12 under after 10 holes having birdied the second and bogeyed the third and fourth holes, before rebounding with four birdies over the next five holes.
His inconsistency continued, however, as back-to-back bogeys followed at the par-four 11th and 12th as he fell back to 10 under.
That’s where the English Ryder Cup star remained, finishing with a 70 in a tie for third with American Bo Van Pelt, who had closed with a 69.
Americans Ricky Barnes and Kris Blanks finished on nine under alongside Camilo Villegas of Colombia in a tie for fifth place.
Australian Stuart Appleby and US rookie Rickie Fowler both fired last-day 67s to get to eight under par to tie for eighth alongside their respective compatriots Nick O’Hern (71) and Heath Slocum (72).
England’s Paul Casey, the world number seven, finished his week with a closing 69 at five under to finish in a tie for 22nd with Swedish duo Robert Karlsson and Fredrik Jacobson.
South African Trevor Immelman fell back to three under after a two-over 73, Sweden’s Carl Pettersen was on the same mark after a 74 and Martin Laird of Scotland was at two under following a final-round 74.
Greg Owen’s tournament ended in disappointment as the Englishman, who had shared the halfway lead with Furyk and Charles Howell III, shot his second over-par round of the weekend.
Owen had opened with a 66 and 69 but shot a 73 on Saturday and finished with a 76 to leave him at level par for the week.