Ryan Palmer picked up his third PGA Tour title with a one-stroke victory over Robert Allenby in the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club.
Palmer and Allenby shared the lead coming into the final round and the American and Australian traded blows through Sunday's play, Palmer eventually coming out on top on the 72nd green. Just short of the par-5's putting surface in two, he over-hit his eagle chip. But, with the ball looking like it would run well past the hole, it careered into the pin and stopped just beside the cup. When Allenby failed to make his birdie chance, the title went to Palmer.
"The grain was running against me. It was either going to hit it fat or do what I did. Fortunately, I got the good break," said Palmer.
Allenby, after winning the Nedbank Challenge on the Sunshine Tour then the Australian PGA Championship last December, was bidding to win three consecutive tournaments on three different tours. He couldn't have come much closer.
"I had a couple of chances out there," Allenby said. "It's so easy to look back and say, 'I could have made that, I could have made that.' But at the end of the day, realistically, I needed to make a birdie at the last."
Steve Stricker finished alone in third and Retief Goosen charged through the field with an excellent closing round of 62 to end the week in fourth spot.
Palmer claimed the winner's cheque for nearly $1 million, earned an invitation to The Masters and secured his playing rights on the PGA Tour to the end of 2012.
Sony Open in Hawaii Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, Hawaii Jan 14-17, purse $5,500,000, par 70
1 Ryan Palmer (USA) 65 66 68 66 265 $990,000 2 Robert Allenby (Aus) 65 67 67 67 266 $594,000 3 Steve Stricker (USA) 66 67 69 65 267 $374,000 4 Retief Goosen (RSA) 69 67 70 62 268 $264,000 T5 Charles Howell III (USA) 73 66 66 64 269 $200,750 T5 Davis Love III (USA) 65 69 68 67 269 $200,750 T5 Carl Pettersson (Swe) 66 70 67 66 269 $200,750 T8 Chad Campbell (USA) 68 64 73 66 271 $154,000 T8 Nathan Green (Aus) 71 67 65 68 271 $154,000 T8 John Rollins (USA) 70 69 67 65 271 $154,000 T8 Omar Uresti (USA) 70 68 68 65 271 $154,000
Note: Player scores 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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