Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Triple Crown Woods Wins Third Major in Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Triple Crown Woods Wins Third Major in Year

Article excerpt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Finally, a major championship that made Tiger Woods sweat. But the result was still the same.

Woods, the world's No. 1-ranked professional golfer, completed a summer sweep and joined Ben Hogan on the same page of the record book when he edged Bob May by one shot in a three-hole playoff yesterday to win the 82nd PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club.

Woods' third major championship of the year matches Hogan's three majors in 1953. In addition to repeating as PGA champion (only Denny Shute in 1936-37 did it prior to yesterday), Woods won the U.S. Open in June and the British Open in July.

Hogan won The Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. He did not enter the PGA that year.

"There have been a lot of great champions who have played this game," said Woods, who won the U.S. and British Opens by a combined 23 shots. "Ben Hogan came back from a car accident to win three majors in one year . . . he was incredible. Three majors in one year is very special."

But Woods had to outduel the persistent May, ranked 48th in the world and 73rd on the PGA Tour money list entering this week. It was the first playoff to decide a major championship in the U.S. since Mark Brooks won the PGA at Valhalla in 1996 and the first time Woods has faced more than token opposition on the weekend of a major since he won the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots in June.

"It was a memorable battle," said Woods, who won for the 22nd time as a pro and earned a record $900,000 first-place check in a major.

May, whose only professional victory has come on the European PGA Tour, was in complete agreement.

"I don't feel disappointed," May said. "I just fell a little bit short."

After a back-nine drama that saw the two players combine for 10 birdies, Woods (67) and May (his third consecutive 66 of the week), finished regulation at 18-under-par 270, establishing a PGA 72-hole scoring record.

In the first use of the new PGA playoff format, Woods birdied the 16th hole with a 20-foot putt, while May missed the fairway and green, and salvaged a par with a delicate chip. Both parred the 17th hole (Woods made a 6-foot putt) and both had trouble with the 18th hole, each missing the fairway with his tee shot. …

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