Tag Archives: putt

Kaymer on his magic moment: "That Ryder Cup putt? My whole career rested on it"

Kaymer on his magic moment: 'That Ryder Cup putt My whole career rested on it'

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 20 December 2012

In the days following the holing of the five-foot putt of a lifetime and the jubilation expressed by his Ryder Cup team-mates and Europe’s disbelieving supporters, Martin Kaymer described it as one of those putts where you feel the hero if you make it and an idiot if you do not.

But, as the days have turned to weeks and the full impact of what he achieved during Europe’s 14-13 victory has sunk in, the thoughtful German has come to look upon that short putt that realised the Miracle at Medinah in even more stark terms.

‘Now I honestly feel like my whole career might have been on the line,’ he said.

Zero to hero: Martin Kaymer salvaged a poor year with the winning putt at Medinah

Zero to hero: Martin Kaymer salvaged a poor year with the winning putt at Medinah

‘I sometimes think about what would have happened if I had missed it. Would I have had the mental strength to recover from thinking I had let down a whole continent

‘I had a similar putt to win my first major, the US PGA Championship in 2010, but the feeling was completely different.

‘If I had missed that one it would have been my own fault and I would have moved on to the next major.

‘But letting down so many people That doesn’t bear thinking about.’

The other side of the coin, of course, is the confidence that has flowed from making it.

‘Up to that point it hadn’t been a good year for me, I would have given it about a three or four at best out of 10,’ he said. ‘Then, all of a sudden, you feel a lot happier about matters. On paper you’d probably still only give the year a three or four but mentally it had suddenly gone up a few marks.’

No pressure then: Kaymer watches his putt find its way toward the hole on the 18th

No pressure then: Kaymer watches his putt find its way toward the hole on the 18th… before sparking wild celebrations (below)

Celebration time: Europe claimed a remarkable victory

That much was obvious in his final event in South Africa, where it looked like the Kaymer of a couple of years back as he held off the local favourite, Charl Schwartzel, to win his first tournament of the year.

Now he’s enjoying some downtime and the celebrity twirl that follows on from being the man who completed the comeback.

There was an appearance on one of the biggest television shows in Germany, for example. It is called I Bet That I Can, in which members of the general public bet they can do certain unlikely things and Hollywood and sporting stars have to decide whether they can or not.

Nothing put in front of Kaymer by Joe Public could have been as unlikely as the idea that he would end up on Sunday at Medinah as the man feted by all and sundry.

Who would possibly have bet on that on Saturday, when Kaymer sat out both sessions and, on the advice of assistant captain Darren Clarke, sought out his hero, Bernhard Langer, for some serious counselling.

‘I hadn’t played well on Friday and was desperate to show what I could do on Saturday, so you can imagine how I felt when I was told I wasn’t playing,’ he said.

‘Bernhard was a huge help. He reminded me in no uncertain terms what team play is all about.’

Trophy life: Graeme McDowell, Kaymer and Justin Rose enjoy one of the more remarkable comebacks in Ryder Cup history

Trophy life: Graeme McDowell, Kaymer and Justin Rose enjoy one of the more remarkable comebacks in Ryder Cup history

As Sunday afternoon unfolded dramatically, it began to dawn on Kaymer that he might end up in the spot occupied by Graeme McDowell last time. From the forgotten man the previous day, he had become the one all his team-mates were relying on.

‘I think for the last 90 minutes I knew that it would probably come down to my match,’ he recalled.

‘On the 14th I was looking at the board and I was all square, Francesco (Molinari) in the last match against Tiger Woods was all square and I was counting the points we had got.

‘I could see that something huge was potentially unfolding. One, two, three, four points, on I went but I knew we needed at least a point from me, or two half-points from Francesco and me.

‘The last three holes were great, the excitement was beautiful. On the 17th I had a four-footer that I had to hole and, when that went in, it gave me a lot of belief.’

It is entirely typical of Kaymer that he admits feeling uncomfortable at the amount of praise that has flowed his way.

‘I was a little surprised afterwards at how many people came up and congratulated me,’ he said.

Trump card: Ian Poulter gave Europe a glimpse on Saturday afternoon as five birdies ensured a point in the fourballs to make it 10-6

Trump card: Ian Poulter gave Europe a glimpse on Saturday afternoon as five birdies ensured a point in the fourballs to make it 10-6

‘Obviously I made the last putt but at the end of the day I got only one point and I played in only two matches. There were other guys, they inspired the team a lot more than me. I mean, what Ian Poulter did on Saturday afternoon is very difficult to put into words. He deserves a lot more credit than anyone else.'

So to the 18th hole and that cauldron of noise. Kaymer must still be able to hear the cries of ‘Miss it! Miss it!’ even now.

‘I
could hear people trying to put me off but it wasn’t distracting me,’
he said. ‘You are so much in the moment. I thought of what Jose Maria
(Olazabal) had told me in very straightforward, very strict sentences.
This is why I want you on the team. We need your win, so please
deliver.’

And deliver he did, with two perfect blows to strike fear into the heart of his opponent, Steve Stricker.

Then, after the putt Kaymer couldn’t believe travelled fully five feet past the hole, came the one that will define him.

In the weeks that have followed,
Kaymer has watched it countless times. ‘I’m a great believer in watching
things that make you happy,’ he said.

‘It was a great party on the green there, wasn’t it’

Australian Masters 2012: Adam Scott beats Ian Poulter

Scott pips Poulter for Australian Masters to end trophy drought after final-day surge

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UPDATED:

11:40 GMT, 18 November 2012

Adam Scott edged out playing partner Ian Poulter in a final day shootout to break a 15-month tournament drought and claim his first gold jacket at the Australian Masters in Melbourne.

Scott took on one of the fiercest competitors in world golf and beat him in a head-to-head battle at Kingston Heath, with the world No 5 overturning a one-shot deficit on the final day to win by four strokes at 17 under par.

The Australian's final round score of 67 was five shots better than Poulter's, with the pair finishing well clear of the rest of the field.

Late surge: Adam Scott pipped Ian Poulter to the Australian Master in fron of his home crowd

Late surge: Adam Scott pipped Ian Poulter to the Australian Master in fron of his home crowd

New Zealanders Gareth Paddison and Mark Brown had a close battle for third place, but had to settle for a share of the spoils some eight shots behind Scott.

Scott and Poulter went shot for shot over the first 11 holes, but the Englishman made bad mistakes on the two par fives on the way home that ultimately led to his downfall.

Poulter opted for a hybrid out of a fairway bunker at the 12th and could only move the ball forward 20 metres into more sand, before finding a greenside trap with his approach shot and settling for a bogey.

That put him two behind Scott and when he shot over the back and failed to get up-and-down at the 14th, the Australian's advantage was out to three.

Scott only had to make pars over the concluding stages to hold on and he did so with relative ease, before holing a birdie putt on the last to hammer the final nail into Poulter's coffin.

He did receive a minor scare when his playing partner birdied the tough par-four 16th to get back within two, but Poulter inexplicably missed a simple two-foot putt on the 17th green to give that shot back and put the result beyond doubt.

Such an anti-climatic finish seemed nigh-on impossible earlier in the day as the duo battled back and forth for supremacy over the front nine in a final-round pairing that felt more like a matchplay event.
Scott made a brilliant birdie-birdie start to go from one behind Poulter to one in front, but the Englishman fought straight back.

No cigar: Poulter missed out on the godl jacket

No cigar: Poulter missed out on the godl jacket

Sand trap: Scott battled hard on the final day to pull away from his playing partner

Sand trap: Scott battled hard on the final day to pull away from his playing partner

His approach at the third was stone-dead as he tapped in for birdie to tie it up, before edging one clear yet again when Scott failed to get up-and-down from a tough bunker at the fourth.

Scott then made three consecutive birdies starting at the sixth, with the pick of those coming at the par-four seventh when he rolled in a long putt for three to match Poulter's tap-in birdie and then cheekily mocked the Englishman's reaction from yesterday when he did the same thing to the Australian.

The pair shared birdies at the short par-three eighth and, as the wind increased later in the day, so did their scores.

However, Scott remained steady on the way home, with Poulter's meltdown on the two longest holes on the course proving the difference between the two players.

Queenslander Adam Crawford shot the best round of the day, with his 65 catapulting him up the leaderboard to finish in fifth at six under, while Peter Senior and Michael Hendry were a further two shots back in a share of sixth.

There were no final-round heroics from Graeme McDowell, as the Northern Irishman and third-highest ranked player in the field could only close with a 71.

That was good enough for him to share eighth spot with David Bransdon at two under.

Gracious: Poulter congratulated Scott after his win

Gracious: Poulter congratulated Scott after his win

Hong Kong Open 2012: Miguel Angel Jimenez shares lead with Michael Campbell

Jimenez could become oldest European Tour winner as veteran shares lead in Hong Kong heading into final round

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 17 November 2012

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Michael Campbell share the lead with a round to go in the UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling.

At 48 Jimenez can become the oldest winner in European Tour history, while 43-year-old Campbell is trying to end a winless drought going back to 2005.

New Zealand's former US Open champion sank an 18-foot par putt on the last for a 69 that matched Jimenez's 10 under par total after the Spaniard played a superb chip to two feet for a 68.

Driving force: The veteran shares the lead in Hong Kong with one round remaining

Driving force: The veteran shares the lead in Hong Kong with one round remaining

Only one behind are 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero – he shot 64 six days after winning the Singapore Open – and China's 47-year-old Zhang Lian-wei, ranked only 1,274th in the world.

Two years ago Manassero became the youngest winner in Tour history and he is now seeking his fourth title. He burst through the field with a back nine 30, grabbing an eagle at the long 13th and four birdies.

Campbell led by one overnight and resumed with an 18-foot birdie putt, but was overtaken when playing partner Zhang birdied the next three. That was followed by a hat-trick of bogeys, however, and he could not get back on terms all day.

Eyes on the price: Jimenez could become the oldest winner in European Tour history

Eyes on the price: Jimenez could become the oldest winner in European Tour history

Campbell three-putted the sixth, came back with a nine-foot putt, but dropped another shot on the 11th to find himself in a three-way tie with Manassero and Jimenez.

Again he responded with another birdie, but Jimenez, twice a winner on the course, holed from nearly 20 feet at the 13th and both of them parred the last five holes.

Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed lies fifth, with Irishman Peter Lawrie and Dane Anders Hansen only three off the pace in joint sixth.

Welshman Rhys Davies, needing to stay 119th on the money to keep his Tour card, had survived the halfway cut with nothing to spare and with a 69 is in a tie for 53rd to one over. He is under threat, though, from Australian Andrew Dodt at four under. Dodt is 122nd on the standings.

Singapore Open: Rory McIlroy clinches European Tour money list

McIlroy nabs European title as Manassero helps him out by beating Oosthuizen

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 11 November 2012

A 30-foot eagle putt on the final green at the Barclays Singapore Open made Rory McIlroy the European Tour's youngest money list winner since Sandy Lyle in 1980.

But it was only when 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero also eagled the same hole more than two hours later that McIlroy could crack open the champagne again.

Already with the PGA Tour title in the bag, the 23-year-old world number one emulated the double achieved by Luke Donald last season when Manassero beat South African Louis Oosthuizen with a 12-foot putt at the third play-off hole.

That's the ticket: Rory McIlroy finished third in Singapore

That's the ticket: Rory McIlroy finished third in Singapore

LEADERBOARD

Click here for the final standings

If Oosthuizen had won he could still
have caught McIlroy, but instead Manassero became the first player to
win three times on the circuit before the age of 20. Not even Seve
Ballesteros managed that.

McIlroy, watched during the week by
girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, stormed through to third place with a
closing six-under-par 65.

'I left myself a little bit too much
to do to win, but it was a great way to finish off the round and the
tournament,' said the Northern Irish star, who still has his defence of
the Hong Kong Open and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to come
this next fortnight.

The race would still have been alive
if either Peter Hanson or Oosthuizen had played in Hong Kong or at this
week's South African Open, but they have not entered.

On clinching the money list double McIlroy said: “It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European number one, especially after finishing second two of the last three years.

Helping hand: Matteo Manassero of Italy with the winners trophy after winning in a three hole playoff with Louis Oosthuizen

Helping hand: Matteo Manassero of Italy with the winners trophy after winning in a three hole playoff with Louis Oosthuizen

Race to Dubai money list standings

1 Rory McIlroy 2,966,985

2 Peter Hanson 2,120,959

3 Justin Rose 2,059,798

4 Louis Oosthuizen 2,044,184

5 Ian Poulter 1,822,644

6 Branden Grace 1,671,036

7 Francesco Molinari 1,630,171

8 Luke Donald 1,475,622

9 Graeme McDowell 1,462,726

10 Paul Lawrie 1,425,216

11 Nicolas Colsaerts 1,363,063,

12 Lee Westwood 1,317,982

13 Matteo Manassero 1,198,873

14 Marcel Siem 1,070,584

15 Thorbjorn Olesen 995,685

16 David Lynn 952,025

17 Rafa Cabrera Bello 939,767

18 Bernd Wiesberger 822,449

19 Jamie Donaldson 815,188

20 Alex Noren 805,292.

'It has always been one of my goals
ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end
the year as both European and PGA Tour number one is just amazing.

'I feel so proud and humbled to join so many fabulous names in Europe who have won the Order of Merit.

'To be able to accomplish this goal
with still two events remaining means that I can head to my UBS Hong
Kong Open defence and the DP World Championship Dubai without that added
pressure and just really enjoy my golf.

'Winning a second major championship
(the USPGA in August by eight shots just like his US Open triumph last
season) already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke
Donald in becoming number one in both Europe and the States is the icing
on the cake after a fabulous season.

'I set myself a number of ambitious goals at the start of the year, and to have ticked so many of the boxes feels great.

'A lot of hard work went into this
and I am really proud of what I've achieved in 2012. I would like to
give special thanks to the team around me for all the support they have
given me throughout the year.

'I've still got two events remaining
this year and the goal is still to try and win at least once more before
the end of the year. Beyond that I'm looking forward to a good break
over the winter!

Taking a swing: Oosthuizen of South Africa takes a shot during round three

Taking a swing: Oosthuizen of South Africa takes a shot during round three

'I've got a healthy lead in the world
rankings, but with so many very good players on both sides of the
Atlantic it will not be a time to be resting on my laurels. My goal is
to push on in the new year.

'Monty (Colin Montgomerie) won eight Order of Merits in his prime and I have won one, so there is plenty of ground to make up.

'Also Jack Nicklaus won 18 Majors and
I now have my name on two, so targeting the majors will still be my
main focus next season.'

Manassero, just 17 when he became the
Tour's youngest-ever winner in Spain two years ago, had slipped from
29th in the world to 85th and said: 'This year has been a little tough
for me and I'm glad this came.

'I'm going through a few swing
changes and have picked up length. The driver is the most important
thing – I changed it this week and it gave me a few extra yards.

Strolling: McIlroy walks with Gregory Bourdy of France (right)

Strolling: McIlroy walks with Gregory Bourdy of France (right)

'It's been an extremely long day, but
the adrenalin kept me going and the key, I think, was starting really
well with a few birdies this morning.'

The Verona youngster made four in a
row from the third hole in a third round that resumed at 7.30am and
after posting a 64 for a two-stroke lead he grabbed two more birdies
early in the final round.

They dried up after that, however,
and Oosthuizen caught him with three in a row around the turn, only to
bogey the 12th and 13th.

A chip-in for a two on the 201-yard
next increased the pressure again, however, and Manassero bogeyed the
15th after driving into rough.

When Oosthuizen pitched to a foot on
the last for a 67 he went ahead again, but Manassero's two-putt birdie
gave him a 69 and forced sudden death on 13 under par.

Both birdied the 18th again, then
parred it with Oosthuizen lipping out from under five feet and after
returning to the tee again – they actually played the 542-yard hole five
times during the day – it was Manassero who came up with the decisive
stroke to claim the first prize of over 618,000.

He has earned over 2.5million in his career already – and will not be 20 until next April.

Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen lead HSBC Champions

Scott finishes with a flourish to share lead with Oosthuizen at HSBC Champions

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 1 November 2012

A spectacular finish by Australian Adam Scott gave him a share of the lead with South African Louis Oosthuizen after the first round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Scott, who blew the Open in July with four closing bogeys, this time followed back-to-back birdies with a 10-foot eagle putt on the 573-yard ninth at Mission Hills in Shenzhen.

That gave the 32-year-old a seven-under-par 65 minutes after 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen had rolled home a 14-foot birdie putt on the same green to set the clubhouse target.

Setting the pace: Adam Scott sits at the top of the leaderboard with Louis Oosthuizen

Setting the pace: Adam Scott sits at the top of the leaderboard with Louis Oosthuizen

Golf blog

Ireland's Shane Lowry, who qualified by winning the Portugal Masters three weeks ago, looked set to be the star of the show when he reached eight under after 16 holes, but he finished disappointingly.

Lowry, also fifth last week at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, missed the green at the short 17th and after failing to get up and down there he paid the price for driving into sand on the last.

Another bogey dropped the 25-year-old into a tie for third with three of this week's favourites – Masters champion Bubba Watson, four-time major champion Phil Mickelson and last week's winner Peter Hanson.

Mickelson, seeking a third victory in the event, matched Scott's eagle on the ninth, in his case from 25 feet, and said: 'My game feels really good. It's gotten better each week since the PGA Championship and hopefully I can carry on – I certainly feel confident that I will be able to.'

Fellow left-hander Watson, who eagled the 568-yard 11th and also had seven birdies to make up for three bogeys, said:

'The course sets up good for a little cut off the tee and the greens are rolling so true.'

Hanson is hoping to take advantage of Rory McIlroy's controversial decision – and that of Tiger Woods – to miss the final world championship of the season.

Flawless: South African Oosthuizen had seven birdies and no dropped shots

Flawless: South African Oosthuizen had seven birdies and no dropped shots

After holding off world No 1 McIlroy last weekend for the best win of his career so far, Hanson has a chance to overtake the Northern Irishman on the European Tour money list with only three weeks left in the race.

The Swede, playing with Watson, was relieved to finish with a par five on the ninth, however.

He blasted his drive well wide and hit another ball off the tee, but he was able to advance the first one down the fairway.

'It was a good celebration on Sunday night and I took it easy on Monday,' Hanson said.

'You know you are playing well, but you have to stay fresh and it's all about keeping your head in the right mindset and keep playing aggressive.'

On a money mission: Peter Hanson is in contention and can catch Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai

On a money mission: Peter Hanson is in contention and can catch Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai

Dustin Johnson, another of the six American Ryder Cup players who made the trip, eagled the seventh in a 67 that gave him a share of seventh place with Thai golfer Prom Meesewat.

Luke Donald is among those one further back, while Ian Poulter, Paul Lawrie and defending champion Martin Kaymer shot 69s.

Lee Westwood needed three closing birdies for a 70, the same as Open champion Ernie Els on his return from an ankle injury, but Justin Rose, third on the European Order of Merit and like Hanson with an opportunity to go to number one this weekend, had to be content with a 72.

Tommy Gainey wins McGladrey Classic

Gainey storms to victory in McGladrey Classic after breaking course record

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UPDATED:

08:09 GMT, 22 October 2012

Tommy Gainey carded a stunning final-day 60 to claim a one-shot victory in the McGladrey Classic and earn his first PGA Tour title.

Gainey was seemingly out of contention as he began his final round tied for 29th place on six-under-par and seven shots adrift of joint leaders Davis Love and Jim Furyk.

However, the 37-year-old American charged up the leaderboard with brilliant blemish-free round that included eight birdies and an eagle to finish the day on 10 under and 16 under for the tournament.

Incredible: Tommy Gainey stormed to victory at the McGaldrey Classic

Incredible: Tommy Gainey stormed to victory at the McGaldrey Classic

That was enough to clinch victory with David Toms (63) second on 15 under after picking up birdies on four of his final five holes while Furyk (69) was two shots back after finishing with a bogey five on 18.

Gainey's 60 was a course record but he also had a chance to card only the sixth round of 59 in PGA Tour history when he was left with a 20-foot putt for birdie on the final hole.

However, his putt finished just short as he finished with a 60, the sixth player to do so on the tour since 2007.

Get in! Gainey was delighted when he holed a birdie putt on the 16th

Get in! Gainey was delighted when he holed a birdie putt on the 16th

Not your day: Jim Furyk went into the final round holding a joint lead with defeated USA Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III

Not your day: Jim Furyk went into the final round holding a joint lead with defeated USA Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III

The South Carolinan carded birdies on the first, third, fifth and ninth to reach the turn in 31 and get himself into contention, but it was on the back nine where he did most of the damage.

A birdie on 11 was followed by two more on 13 and 14 before he holed from a greenside bunker for eagle on the par-five 15th.

Gainey sank another birdie on the 16th before finishing with back-to-back pars as he just missed out on an historic 59.

Watching and waiting: Crowds gathered round Gainey as he chipped from the fairway on the 18th

Watching and waiting: Crowds gathered round Gainey as he chipped from the fairway on the 18th

Jeev Milkha Singh wins Scottish Open

Singh wins Scottish Open after thrilling playoff as Warren chokes at Castle Stuart

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UPDATED:

16:50 GMT, 15 July 2012

Indian Jeev Milkha Singh was the unlikely winner of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in Inverness today after home hope Marc Warren blew a three-shot lead over the closing stretch.

Singh, who also qualifies for The Open, beat Italian Francesco Molinari – brother of 2010 champion Edoardo – with a 12-foot birdie putt at the first hole of a play-off, leaving a stunned Warren joint third with Swede Alex Noren one shot back.

The 31-year-old Glaswegian double-bogeyed the 15th, then bogeyed the next two for a one-under-par 71.

Singh had set an early target of 17 under with a 67 and overnight leader Molinari then forced sudden death by holing a nine-foot par putt on the last for a 72.

Wave of confidence: Jeev Milkha Singh took the title after a playoff

Wave of confidence: Jeev Milkha Singh took the title after a playoff

More to follow…

Tiger Woods world ranking up to fourth

Woods back in world's top four after matching Nicklaus with Memorial Tournament win

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

10:14 GMT, 4 June 2012

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 4 June 2012

Tiger Woods is up to fourth in the world after producing one of the shots of his life en route to winning the Memorial Tournament.

A spectacular chip-in birdie from the rough over the 16th green helped the 36-year-old to match the 73 PGA Tour wins of tournament host Jack Nicklaus. Only Sam Snead with 82 is ahead of him now.

The former world No 1 climbs from ninth to fourth a week before he heads to San Francisco for his attempt to win a 15th major. He is currently four behind Nicklaus' record – and has been since the 2008 US Open.

Main man: Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tourmanent in Ohio

Main man: Tiger Woods won the Memorial Tourmanent in Ohio

Woods' fist-pumping roar of delight rolled back the years, and was soon followed by a calm raise of the club after a birdie putt on 18 which he knew had taken him out of reach of the chasing Rory Sabbatini, who finished two shots back.

Starting the day four off the lead, Woods birdied the second hole after a fine approach to eight feet but it was the fifth where his round sparked into life.

With two par-fives in the space of three holes, Woods took full advantage by birdying both as well as the intervening sixth.

He gave one shot back at the eighth
when a 40-foot putt broke too far, and after losing another at 10 it
looked as though his charge would not materialise.

But
he had other ideas, with three birdies in the last four holes including
the shot which Nicklaus himself, watching at greenside, said was the
best he had seen at the Muirfield Village course.

Legends of the game: Woods is congratulated by Jack Nicklaus after his victory

Legends of the game: Woods is congratulated by Jack Nicklaus after his victory

And Woods told reporters: 'I knew if I hit it short it would have been down and left, if I hit it long it was in the water. The lie wasn't all that great, I had to take a cut at it and it came out just perfect.'

And Woods –
10 years younger than
Nicklaus when he recorded his last win – said: 'It's been pretty nice
and to do it at age 36, it's not too shabby. I've been very proud what
I've done so far in my career and I feel I've still got a lot of good
years ahead of me.'

On Sunday's round as a whole, he
said: 'Boy, I hit it good today. I never really missed a shot, I had the
pace of the greens really nice and made a few putts.'

Overnight leader Spencer Levin opened
up with an 11-foot putt for birdie and was solid for the remainder of
his front nine, but bogeyed the 10th and gradually unravelled on the way
home.

Sabbatini was one over for his front nine but hit his approach at the par-five 11th to three feet and holed out for birdie.

He repeated the feat at the tricky
short 12th – and also saw Levin dump his tee shot in the back left
bunker, which seemed to derail the erstwhile leader's challenge.

Holed it: Woods on his way to victory in the Memorial Tournament

Holed it: Woods on his way to victory in the Memorial Tournament

It led to a bogey and worse was to follow at the next as a six-foot bogey putt dived dramatically right, the resulting six dropping him three shots off the lead at five under.

Sabbatini was fortunate to see his tee shot at the next pull up just short of the water and he capitalised with a perfectly measured approach which followed the contours of the green round towards the hole – but his birdie putt stopped inches short.

He was two clear at that stage but Woods was not finished and birdied 15 before producing the big moment of the day at the next.

Levin
held his breath as a par putt at 16 horseshoed round the back of the
hole before succumbing to gravity, but he could not hole out at 17.

Done it! Woods raises his putter to salute the crowd after making sure of his victory

Done it! Woods raises his putter to salute the crowd after making sure of his victory

WORLD RANKINGS

1 Luke Donald, 2 Rory McIlroy, 3 Lee Westwood, 4 Tiger Woods 6.79, 5 Bubba Watson, 6 Matt Kuchar, 7 Justin Rose, 8 Hunter Mahan, 9 Jason Dufner, 10 Martin Kaymer, 11 Steve Stricker, 12 Phil Mickelson, 13 Webb Simpson, 14 Charl Schwartzel, 15 Louis Oosthuizen, 16 Zach Johnson, 17 Adam Scott, 18 Rickie Fowler, 19 Jason Day, 20 Dustin Johnson.

Other leading Europeans: 21 Graeme McDowell, 22 Sergio Garcia, 25 Peter Hanson, 27 Ian Poulter, 29 Paul Lawrie, 32 Martin Laird, 33 Francesco Molinari, 34 Thomas Bjorn, 35 Nicolas Colsaerts, 38 Carl Pettersson, 42 Alvaro Quiros, 46 Simon Dyson, 47 Fredrik Jacobson, 48 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, 49 Robert Karlsson, 53 Anders Hansen, 55 Rafael Cabrera Bello, 58 Paul Casey, 59 Robert Rock, 62 Miguel Angel Jimenez, 63 Matteo Manassero, 76 Darren Clarke, 79 Joost Luiten, 81 Pablo Larrazabal, 84 Alexander Noren, 87 Michael Hoey, 88 Brian Davis, 93 Richie Ramsay, 96 Padraig Harrington, 98 Stephen Gallacher, 99 Bernd Wiesberger, 100 David Lynn

Woods' nerveless putt for a closing
birdie meant he would have been out of the hunt in any case, and left
Sabbatini needing an improbable eagle at the par-four 18th to force a
play-off.

That was never on the cards, and Woods' coronation was confirmed moments later.

Andres Romero came from off the pace
to share second place with Sabbatini, eagling the long 15th before
finishing with a birdie three.

Levin shared fourth with Daniel
Summerhays on five under, the latter carding 69 including three birdies
and an eagle in his last five holes.

Two more Americans, Matt Every and
Jonathan Byrd, were four under, with Justin Rose three under and a
closing 67 leaving fellow Englishman Greg Owen a further shot back
alongside Ryo Ishikawa and Aaron Baddeley. Luke Donald was one under.

Woods' playing partner Rickie Fowler's anticipated challenge crumbled spectacularly.

The
young American wore his trademark all-orange for the final day but
would have wanted to disappear from view after squandering an opening
birdie by dropping four shots over the next three holes.

He
birdied the fifth but two more bogeys followed as he recorded only one
par in his first eight holes, and his woes continued on the back nine.

He ended up 12 over for his round, with three double-bogeys along the way, and seven over for the week.

Bill Haas wins Northern Trust Open

Haas beats Mickelson and Bradley in dramatic play-off to win Northern Trust Open

Bill Haas landed a 45-foot birdie putt to win a three-man play-off for the Northern Trust Open in California.

The 29-year-old carded a fourth-round two-under 69 to earn a share of the overall lead with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley and, on the second play-off hole, produced the magic that earned him a fourth Tour title.

Mickelson was the only one of the trio to drive well at the 10th hole but, despite landing in the rough, Haas finished the better, chipping on to the green and then sinking a monster putt that put the pressure on his rivals.

Putter magic: Haas sunk a mammoth effort to seal victory in California

Putter magic: Haas sunk a mammoth effort to seal victory in California

Northern Trust Open

Click here for the final leaderboard

And neither were able to land a birdie of their own, leaving Haas to take the glory.

'I never expected to make a 40-footer, and especially in that situation,' Haas told www.pgatour.com afterwards.

'That was a little bit of luck involved, but felt like I put a good roll on it, and it was meant to be, I guess.'

It was a frustrating day for Bradley and Mickelson. The duo, the latter of which was chasing back-to-back titles after winning at Pebble Beach last week, both carded even-par 71s, making no movement in their score column from the third round – although they needed 18th-hole birdies to even force a play-off after Haas shot ahead of them.

'Bill hit a tremendous putt,' Mickelson said. 'We're thinking it's a very difficult three, it's a defensive hole. You're just trying to make four believe it or not.

'It's only 290 yards, 280 yards, but you're trying to make par. He ended up making a 50-, 60-footer and that's going to do it.'

That will have been of particular annoyance to four-time major winner Mickelson, who appeared set fare for a win after a storming five-under 66 on day one.

Title: Haas' sealed his fourth tour win in the tense play-off

Title: Haas' sealed his fourth tour win in the tense play-off

Title: Haas' sealed his fourth tour win in the tense play-off

The course dried up for a lot of players after that, though, with Sergio Garcia's stunning round today one of the exceptions.

The Spaniard went round in a seven-under 64, meaning he ended the tournament on five-under, two behind the leaders. But for a five-over 76 on Friday, he could have won himself.

As it was he shared five under with Jimmy Walker, Jarrod Lyle and Dustin Johnson.

England's Justin Rose was again steady, with his second par round leaving him two under for the week, something world number one Luke Donald would have loved to have been able to say.

Having started out with a solid 70, 72, 71 run, he posted a horror seven-over 78, leaving him way down the leaderboard, although likely Ryder Cup rivals Rickie Barnes (eight over) and Stewart Cink (nine over) spared some of his blushes.

Another man to have a bad day was Bryce Molder, who started out a shot behind Mickelson and Bradley and ended it six adrift, dropping five strokes on his way around.

Padraig Harrington, Ireland's three-time major champion, ended four over for the tournament.

Off the pace: Rose failed to trouble the leaders

Off the pace: Rose failed to trouble the leaders

Joburg Open: Jamie Elson and Damien McGrane share lead

Elson and McGrane lead the way in weather-hit Joburg Open

England's Jamie Elson and Ireland's Damien McGrane share the clubhouse lead after a weather-interrupted first round of the Joburg Open on Thursday.

Elson, who holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the final green of the European Tour's qualifying school at the end of last year to secure his card, made a flying start to 2012 with an eight-under-par 63 on Royal Johannesburg and Kensington's West Course.

Leading the way: England's Elson shares the clubhouse lead

Leading the way: England's Elson shares the clubhouse lead

That matched the earlier effort of McGrane, who managed to reach the clubhouse before thunderstorms halted play.

In total around four hours were lost because of the threat of lightning, with some players unable to complete their rounds before darkness set in as a result.

Eye on the ball: McGrane in action on day one

Eye on the ball: McGrane in action on day one

Elson was six under after 15 holes before the suspension and picked up two more shots in his last three holes when play resumed.

'I had just hit a good shot on 16, the par three, and there was a strong downwind,' Elson said.

'With the water short (of the green) it was a pretty good shot and left myself with an eight footer when I resumed play. I managed to knock that in and then finished well.

'I had a good year here last year – I think I shot six under on the second day at the hard course – so if I can do that again it would be nice.'

McGrane carded five birdies in a flawless front nine of 31 and collected two more on the back nine before chipping in for an eagle on the 15th. The only blemish on his scorecard came at the 18th with a bogey five.

'I am delighted to be in a good position after round one,' McGrane said.

'For the last three or four years Irish golf has been quite incredible and I think we feed off each other.

'I stacked up a few birdies during the round, but that eagle really turned my round. “I hit plenty of fairways and holed a few nice putts for birdie, it was just the bogey at the last which was disappointing. Apart from that it was a perfect round of golf.'

South African pair Desvonde Botes and Peter Karmis and Holland's Reinier Saxton are a shot off the lead on seven under, with Scottish duo David Drysdale and George Murray another stroke back.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, looking for a third straight win in the event, was level par with three holes left to play.

If the South African makes it a hat-trick he would become only the sixth player, after Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods, to win the same European Tour event three years in a row.