Westwood wins 2nd PGA title in playoff in Memphis

Lee Westwood won the St. Jude Classic for his second career PGA

Tour victory and first since 1998, beating Swede Robert Karlsson on

the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff Sunday.

The Englishman became the first European to win the tour’s

third-longest event after Robert Garrigus blew a three-stroke lead

on the final hole of regulation with a triple bogey. He bogeyed the

first playoff hole.

“You try to do the right thing all the time,” Westwood said.

“It doesn’t always work for you. I’ve been in contention a lot,

especially this year, and I suppose I got a break today with other

people’s misfortune but made the most of it and took a

chance.”

Westwood and Karlsson went par-par-bogey until they returned to

No. 18 once again. Westwood stuck his approach 6 feet from the pin

on No. 18. Karlsson left his birdie putt from 43 feet away to

extend the playoff about a foot short.

Then Westwood, who went 17 straight holes between birdies,

rolled in the 6-footer for his first PGA win since New Orleans. He

dropped his putter and celebrated with a fist bump.

Westwood started the final round trailing by three strokes,

birdied three straight holes to grab the lead. But he bogeyed No.

17 and was ready to head off the course when told to stick around

behind the 18th green.

He wound up taking home the $1.008 million winner’s check after

the longest sudden-death playoff at Memphis with a 68-270

total.

“It’s amazing how things pan out,” Westwood said.

The Englishman also becomes the fourth to win in his first visit

to Memphis and first since Dicky Pride in 1994. Westwood came in

having played well, not missing a cut in his 10 starts on the PGA

Tour this year with four top 10s. He had gone 122 starts on the PGA

Tour since winning the 1998 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Karlsson, who won his ninth European Tour victory at Qatar

earlier this year, still is looking for his first PGA title. He

shot a 69, and Garrigus finished with a 71. Karlsson had a chance

to win on the third playoff hole with a par putt from 5.5 feet only

to miss.

“I didn’t hit a good putt. You can’t take any chances with too

many good players,” Karlsson said.

Shaun Micheel, winner of the 2003 PGA championship, shot a 67

and finished tied with Garrett Willis (67) for fourth at 271.

Golfers and fans alike faced another steamy day as many players

and caddies wore maroon ribbons pinned to their caps in a show of

support on what could be the final round for an event that first

started in 1958 – unless organizers find a new sponsor by their own

deadline of Sept. 15.

Westwood had the lead, or a share of it, most of the final round

after starting his day with three straight birdies in the first

four holes. But he parred out until he bogeyed No. 17 and finished

with a 68. With Garrigus up by three, Westwood was ready to leave

when told he should stick around the 18th hole.

He did and quickly found himself in a playoff that neither

seemed ready to win until they got back to the 18th again.

Westwood hit a 303-yard drive and was 151 yards from the pin

when he hit his approach well inside Karlsson’s. When the Swede’s

putt was short, Westwood ended the playoff and started his

celebration.

He had practiced his putting after the third round, work that

paid off as Westwood birdied Nos. 2, 3 and 4 to take the lead back

to himself at 11 under. He rolled in a 30-footer on No. 2, and then

he holed out from nearly 34 feet on the par-5 third. He stuck a

shot on the par-3 No. 4 from 185 yards within 19 feet and sunk that

putt.

Westwood came here on a sponsor’s exemption to tune up for the

U.S. Open. He wound up getting in some overtime with the extra

holes. Now he’ll try to become just the eighth player to win a PGA

event and then win a major championship – the first to do it at the

U.S. Open.

“I like being competitive before a major championship, to be

competitive with the tournament and boost my confidence,” Westwood

said.

Garrigus, 32, came into this event 377th in the world rankings

and had never led a PGA event on the final day. The inexperience

showed on the 72nd hole.

He put his tee shot into the lake lining the 18th fairway, took

his drop and yanked his next shot into the trees left of the lake

before punching out over the lake. He two-putted for triple bogey

to at least make the playoff.

Playing that same hole again to start the playoff, Garrigus

stayed away from the lake.

His 338-yard drive landed in the pine straw behind a tree,

leaving him no choice but to shoot back into the fairway. With

Westwood and Karlsson parring the fourth-toughest hole, Garrigus

had to hole out a 13-footer for par. The putt went just along the

right edge for bogey, knocking him out.

“I know I played better than they all did in the field. It’s

all right,” Garrigus said. “I’m going to go on from this week,

and we’ll be good.