Golf Roundup

The host with the most

Woods holds on, wins own tourney

Associated Press / July 6, 2009
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Tiger Woods made it a hat trick of victories in tournaments hosted by PGA Tour stars, this one the most meaningful of all because it was his own.

Woods lived up to his hopes of being a “greedy host’’ yesterday, leaving Anthony Kim in his wake and then making a 20-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole to overtake hard-charging Hunter Mahan for a one-shot victory in his AT&T National in Bethesda, Md.

Woods closed with a 3-under-par 67 for his third victory of the year, the others coming at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Tournament.

Mahan made six birdies on the back nine for a 62, tying the course record Kim set Thursday. The birdie on the 18th gave Mahan a share of the lead, and he had to wait more than an hour to see if Woods could top him.

“Six holes to go, and at the time I was tied for the lead,’’ Woods said, referring to when Mahan finished his round. “You can win the tournament or you can lose the tournament from here. Just got to keep plodding along and hopefully sneak one or two birdies coming in and get the title.’’

Woods twice scrambled for par to stay tied for the lead, then looked as though he squandered a good birdie chance on the par-5 16th when his chip from the rough came out heavy and stopped 20 feet from the hole. Backing off once, he rolled in it, then walked stoically to the hole, nodding his head.

He closed with routine pars to finish at 13-under 267. The 68th victory of his PGA Tour career moved him to the top of the money list and the FedEx Cup standings for the first time this year.

Mahan had to settle for his third straight top-10 finish, although he put on quite a show, even if hardly anyone noticed.

Most of the 40,000 at Congressional scrambled for a sight of the present and the future - Woods and Kim - until Mahan started dropping in putts from everywhere on the back nine.

He was in the family dining area when he finished, watching with Woods’s wife, Elin, and their 2-year-old daughter, Sam. Woods missed a 10-foot putt on the 14th and Mahan said he jokingly cheered in a light moment.

But he knew better. “I mean, he’s pretty good,’’ Mahan said. “He knows what he’s doing. He knows how to play this game better than anybody.’’

LPGA - Eunjung Yi blew a six-stroke lead then hit a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Morgan Pressel and capture her first tour victory in what might be the final Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

The second-year pro began the day with a four-shot lead. She birdied two of the first three holes to go up by six. Pressel, chasing her third career win, got even by holing a wedge shot for eagle on the par-5 17th hole.

Yi finished at 18-under 266 to earn the $210,000 first prize.

Michelle Wie made a back-nine rush to finish at 16 under, tied for third.

Pressel trailed by four shots as she went to the 16th tee. But Yi three-putted for bogey at the 16th after pulling her drive into the trees and then overshooting the green with her approach. Pressel rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the 16th to cut the lead to two strokes.

The tournament’s contract with its title sponsor, the LPGA, and Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, expired after the final round.

European - Martin Kaymer won the French Open, beating Lee Westwood on the first playoff hole in Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines.

Kaymer sank a putt from 18 feet on No. 18 to edge Westwood, who sent his approach shot into the water.

Westwood had the round of the day with seven birdies and a bogey for a 6-under 65 that forced a playoff at 13-under 271.