Lee Westwood claimed the St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew, coming through a playoff against Robert Garrigus and Robert Karlsson after Garrigus had blown a three-shot lead on the 72nd hole.
It was Westwood's first win on the PGA Tour since the 1998 Zurich Classic of New Orleans and it solidifies his position at number three on the Official World Golf Ranking.
"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."
That misfortune belonged to Robert Garrigus. Three shots ahead standing on the 18th tee, the tournament was all but secured. But the American hit an appalling tee shot left into the water hazard. He dropped then pulled his next into the trees left of the lake, he ended up making a triple bogey seven and dropping back into a tie with Westwood and Robert Karlsson.
Garrigus had little time to forget the disaster he'd suffered on the 18th as the trio headed straight back to the same tee for the first playoff hole. Unsurprisingly, this time Garrigus stayed away from the lake but his drive ended stymied behind a tree and he was forced to pitch out. His bogey wasn't good enough to continue after the European duo made pars.
"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.
Karlsson had a chance to win on the third extra hole but his par effort missed from five feet.
"I didn't hit a good putt," he said.
Westwood sealed the victory on the next hole when he fired in close and holed the putt after the Swede had missed.
The win comes as the perfect preparation for next week's US Open and the Englishman will vie to become the eighth player to win a PGA Tour event then win the US Open the following week.
St. Jude Classic presented by Smith & Nephew TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee June 10-13, purse $5,600,000, par 70
1 Lee Westwood (Eng) 63 68 71 68 270 $1,080,000 T2 Robert Garrigus (USA) 67 66 66 71 270 $492,800 T2 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 67 66 68 69 270 $492,800 T4 Shaun Micheel (USA) 68 66 70 67 271 $246,400 T4 Garett Willis (USA) 66 65 73 67 271 $246,400 6 Heath Slocum (USA) 69 67 66 70 272 $201,600 7 Billy Mayfair (USA) 69 70 68 66 273 $187,600 T8 Bob Estes (USA) 66 69 71 68 274 $156,800 T8 D.J. Trahan (USA) 66 68 71 69 274 $156,800 T8 Camilo Villegas (Col) 71 67 69 67 274 $156,800 T8 Jay Williamson (USA) 66 70 69 69 274 $156,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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