Friday, 19 March 2010
Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship with a level par round of 72, but he was chased all the way by 19-year-old Sergio Garcia, the margin of victory a single stroke. At one point around the turn Woods held a five stroke lead but the thirteenth saw a three stroke swing, Woods taking five having watched Garcia hole out for a two.

But the Spaniard, trying to become the youngest major winner for 129 years, had the compensation of clinching a Ryder Cup debut for next month's match at The Country Club, Brookline Boston. He will take over from Nick Faldo as the youngest ever player in the Matches.

Garcia also produced one of the shots of the year as he chased his first major - but it was not enough. Woods, looking to add another major to his 1997 Masters victory, was five clear with seven to play, but Garcia signalled his intent to make a fight of it over the closing stretch with a 20-foot birdie putt at the short 13th.

Woods, playing in the group behind, made his first bogey of the day on the 468-yard 12th, and then double-bogeyed the 13th after chipping over the green and missing from eight feet. The gap was down to one , but just as Garcia needed to push he drove into the trees on the 389-yard 15th and bogeyed.

When he drove directly behind a tree on the 452-yard 16th his hopes appeared over, but in a moment of drama that will be replayed time and time again he went for what seemed an impossible shot. In Seve Ballesteros-style he went for the green and, running after it, made it and saved his par.

Garcia missed from 15 and 14 feet on the final two greens, and Woods - after saving par from the rough at the short 17th with a crucial seven-foot putt - safely found the green in two on the last and two-putted from 20 feet for a closing 72 and an 11-under-par total of 277. Garcia was second a stroke behind, and Americans Jay Haas and Stewart Cink shared third spot two further back.

"It was amazing," said Garcia, emulating Ballesteros' feat at the Open in 1976 by finishing runner-up in a major at 19. "It was the best week of my life. I have never had so much fun playing golf. It was unbelievable."

Woods, round in 72 to Garcia's 71, said: "Unfortunately I hit a couple of bad shots and I just tried to hold off Sergio.

"It didn't come in the way I wanted. But Sergio was playing wonderful golf, and you could see the fans rooting for him - and rightfully so."

Woods, third at the US Open in June and seventh in the Open at Carnoustie last month, won the Masters by a runaway 12-shot margin two years ago - but this turned into an altogether different experience.

Colin Montgomerie, prepared to give Woods the title after the third round, finished in a tie for sixth on six under after a third 70 of the week.

Lee Westwood, whose own hopes were badly dented by a 74 playing with Woods in the third round, shot closing 75 and dropped to 16th place.

Ryder Cup captain Mark James closed the championship with a five-under-par 67. But having started the day joint 69th of the 74 players he still finished in mid-table on the two-over-par mark of 290.

Scotland's Andrew Coltart, now down to 11th in the Ryder Cup Points table because of Garcia's performance, finished with a 71 and nine over par total.

Bernhard Langer, 12th in the Ryder Cup points, had a 76 for eight over, while Swede Jesper Parnevik, birdied the last to finish three under with Miguel Angel Jimenez.

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