Singh wins in dramatic playoff

Monday, August 25, 2008

PARAMUS, N.J. -- Vijay Singh ended up beating Sergio Garcia on a gopher hole.

Yes, a gopher. Or maybe a mole.

Singh won The Barclays for a record fourth time Sunday, matching Garcia's long birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff and finishing off his Spanish friend on the second extra hole after Garcia got a lucky break from the furry critter.

After Singh topped Garcia's 27-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole -- the 472-yard 18th -- with a 26-footer, things got a little weird on the 577-yard, par-5 17th.

First, Garcia uncharacteristically hooked his drive into the left rough. Then, with Singh in the fairway, Garcia hit his second shot behind a huge tree in the right rough. Singh then hit a 267-yard approach onto the green, about 20 feet long and right.

"I got stymied behind the tree and I got lucky because I got a drop because of some gopher holes or whatever it was," Garcia said. "It wasn't where my ball was, but like about 5 or 6 feet left. It was actually moving. You could see the grass going up and down. It was actually there and we were trying to find it, but we couldn't."

Able to get a clear path to the green, Garcia advanced the ball near the front of the green about 30 feet from the hole and nearly holed his chip. Singh then rolled his 20-foot eagle putt within inches for a tap-in birdie.

"I wasn't really concerned about him," Singh said. "I just wanted to know why he got a drop, there was obviously a mole there and he was burrowing at that moment, you could see him popping out. ... I was really focused on what I was doing."

The 45-year-old Fijian closed with a 1-under 70 to match Garcia (70) and Kevin Sutherland (68) at 8-under 276 on the sun-baked Ridgewood Country Club course in Paramus, N.J., the first-time site after 41 seasons at Westchester Country Club.

LPGA Tour

Cristie Kerr sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole, defeating Helen Alfredsson and Sophie Gustafson to win the Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Ore.

Kerr, Alfredsson and Gustafson finished 54 regulation holes at 13-under par 203. Alfredsson and Gustafson missed slightly longer birdie putts during the playoff before Kerr made hers.

It was Kerr's 11th career victory on the LPGA Tour. Kerr, whose last victory was the 2007 U.S. Women's Open, collected a first prize of $255,000 from the tournament's $1.7 million purse. Kerr rallied from four shots down going into Sunday's final round with a 7-under par 65, the lowest round of the tournament.

Champions Tour

Tom Kite surged past Scott Simpson with three birdies in four holes on the back nine and finished at 14-under to win his second Boeing Classic title in Snoqualmie, Wash.

It's the first victory for Kite since winning the 2006 Boeing Classic in a playoff over Keith Fergus, and the 10th Champions Tour title in his career. Kite was able to avoid a playoff this time by sinking three birdies inside 10 feet on the backside, then capped his 6-under round of 66 with a birdie on the 18th, finishing two shots ahead of playing partner Simpson.

U.S. Amateur

Danny Lee became the U.S. Amateur's youngest champion, supplanting Tiger Woods by holding off Drew Kittleson 5 and 4.

The 18-year, 1-month-old Lee frittered away most of a six-hole lead before regaining control with consecutive birdies midway through his second trip around Pinehurst's No. 2 course in Pinehurst, N.C. He capped his 11th consecutive day of competitive golf by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt on the 14th.

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