Tiger magic vanquishes Euro hopes

European Tour

Tournament: USPGA Championship
Venue: Medinah CC, Illinois, USA
Winner Tiger Woods

The incomparable Tiger Woods gave yet another golfing master class in Chicago today, leaving Luke Donald and the rest trailing in his wake as he claimed his 12th major title.
Donald, joint leader with a round to go and in contention for a major for the first time, was simply powerless to prevent the World No 1 from winning the 88th PGA Championship at Medinah.
Woods’ dominance was such that by the back nine his only challenge was to try to achieve the lowest score under par in the history of the majors – all 399 of them.
A bogey on the short 17th denied him that, but 18 under matched the PGA record he and Bob May set six years ago.
And this time, thanks to a closing 68, it gave him a five-stroke victory over fellow American Shaun Micheel, the surprise winner in 2003.
It was Wood’s second successive major and his third tournament win in a row. And it puts him second on his own in the all-time list, just six behind Jack Nicklaus.
Woods, 30, has now won 12 of the 40 majors he has played as professional. It took Nicklaus 48 to get to the same point.
This was the 12th time out of 12 that Woods has turned at least a share of top spot entering the final day into victory. And, as at the Open last month, he made it look a piece of cake.
Donald had not had a bogey for 36 holes going into their duel in the sun, but that soon changed and he was already out of it when another came at the long 10th. He did not manage a single birdie, in fact, in slipping to joint third place with Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.
That should seal Ryder Cup spots for Garcia and Donald, while Ian Poulter’s ninth place keeps his hopes alive with two events to go.
Woods turned it into a one-man show like so often before, sinking two putts of over 30 feet as he raced to the turn in 32 to be four clear.
The gap – make that chasm – widened to five when he made a 10-footer on the 11th despite having driven into the rough.
Donald had hoped to become the first European to win a major since 1999 and the first to win this particular title since Scot Tommy Armour in 1930.
But doing it playing with Woods in the final group was never a good situation from which to make it happen.
His bogey-free run ended after he unluckily drove into a divot hole on the fourth and when he missed a three-footer at the next there was a sense already that it was just not going to be his day.
As for the American Ryder Cup race, Steve Stricker became the only player in with a chance of forcing himself into the top 10 in this their final counting event.
He had to climb from 12th to third in the championship on the final day and with three to play was up to sixth, probably needing two more birdies to have a chance. But he could not do it and Brett Wetterich, who missed the cut, clung on to the last automatic spot.
Captain Tom Lehman already has four uncapped players in his side – Wetterich, Vaughn Taylor, JJ Henry and Zach Johnson – and is expected to add some more experience with his two wild cards tomorrow.
Stewart Cink and Davis Love are the favourites in that order, but there was speculation that Lehman was considering his assistant Corey Pavin.
ALL THE FINAL SCORES
(USA unless stated, par 72, (x) denotes amateurs):270 Tiger Woods 69 68 65 68
275 Shaun Micheel 69 70 67 69
276 Adam Scott (Aus) 71 69 69 67, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 69 70 67 70, Luke Donald (Gbr) 68 68 66 74
277 Mike Weir (Can) 72 67 65 73
278 Steve Stricker 72 67 70 69, KJ Choi (Kor) 73 67 67 71
279 Ryan Moore 71 72 67 69, Ian Poulter (Gbr) 70 70 68 71, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 69 68 68 74
280 Sean O’Hair 72 70 70 68, Chris DiMarco 71 70 67 72
281 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 68 68 73 72, Tim Herron 69 67 72 73
282 Ernie Els (Rsa) 71 70 72 69, David Toms 71 67 71 73, Woody Austin 71 69 69 73, Phil Mickelson 69 71 68 74
283 Jonathan Byrd 69 72 74 68, Robert Allenby (Aus) 68 74 71 70, Fred Funk 69 69 74 71, Harrison Frazar 69 72 69 73
284 Chad Campbell 71 72 75 66, Stewart Cink 68 74 73 69, Tim Clark (Rsa) 70 69 75 70, Anders Hansen (Den) 72 71 70 71, Steve Flesch 72 71 69 72
285 Dean Wilson 74 70 74 67, Heath Slocum 73 70 72 70, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 71 73 69 72, Lee Westwood 69 72 71 73, Jim Furyk 70 72 69 74
286 Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 73 71 70 72, Davis Love 68 69 73 76, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 70 73 68 75
287 Richard Green (Aus) 73 69 73 72, Graeme McDowell (Gbr) 75 68 72 72, Billy Mayfair 69 69 73 76, JB Holmes 71 70 68 78
288 Daniel Chopra (Swe) 72 67 76 73, Billy Andrade 67 69 78 74, JJ Henry 68 73 73 74, Justin Rose (Gbr) 73 70 70 75, Chris Riley 66 72 73 77
289 Lucas Glover 66 74 77 72, Olin Browne 75 66 73 75
290 Jerry Kelly 70 74 74 72
291 Joey Sindelar 74 70 73 74, Nathan Green (Aus) 71 71 74 75, Rich Beem 75 69 72 75, Corey Pavin 72 71 72 76, Ryan Palmer 70 73 72 76, Kenny Perry 72 71 71 77
292 Stuart Appleby (Aus) 70 73 79 70, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 73 71 78 70, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 70 74 75 73, Stephen Ames (Can) 74 69 74 75, Jose Maria Olazabal (Spa) 72 68 75 77
293 Steve Lowery 70 72 76 75, Ben Curtis 72 72 73 76
295 Jeff Maggert 75 68 78 74, Charles Warren 73 70 77 75, Jason Gore 70 73 75 77
296 Bob Tway 72 71 75 78, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 73 75 78
297 David Howell (Gbr) 71 71 73 82
300 Don Yrene 71 72 77 80, Jay Haas 75 68 74 83
301 Jim Kane 71 71 80 79

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