Tiger coasts to Medinah victory

2006-08-21 07:36

Medinah - Tiger Woods stayed ice-cool throughout the final round to cruise to his 12th major title with a five-shot victory in the PGA Championship on Sunday.

Tied for the overnight lead with playing partner Luke Donald, the American world number one fired a four-under-par 68 in low-scoring conditions to lift the Wanamaker Trophy for the third time.

Woods, who also won the year's final major in 1999 and 2000, rattled up five birdies and a solitary bogey at the par-three 17th before finishing at 18-under-par 270 in bright sunshine at Medinah Country Club.

After sinking his final putt he gave a double fist pump to celebrate moving past fellow American Walter Hagen into outright second place in the all-time major standings with only Jack Nicklaus, on 18, ahead of him.

His 72-hole aggregate matched the lowest below par in the tournament's history, tying the 18-under total of 270 set jointly by Woods and fellow American Bob May at Valhalla in 2000.

"This is really sweet, it was a special day out there," a smiling Woods told reporters after delivering an inspired display with his putter. "I just had one of those magical days on the greens.

"I just felt like if I got the ball anywhere on the green, I could make it. It's not often you have days like that, and I happened to have one in the final round of a major championship.

Making bombs

"I made some bombs early in the front nine to stay ahead, knew I had to continue making birdies and I was able to do it," added Woods, who needed only 27 putts on the day.

Asked how he felt with only Nicklaus ahead of him in the all-time major standings, he replied: "It took Jack over 20 years to get his, so it's going to take a career.

"I've just to keep plugging along and keep trying to win these things."

By securing his third PGA Championship, Woods drew level with Gene Sarazen and Sam Snead. Only Nicklaus and Hagen, with five victories apiece, have fared better.

Briton Donald, bidding to become the PGA Championship's first European-born winner in 76 years, had to settle for a share of third place at 12 under after a frustrating day and a closing 74.

Level with Donald were Australia's Adam Scott, who fired a seven-birdie 67, and Spaniard Sergio Garcia, after a 70.

American Shaun Micheel, winner of the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, secured second place at 13 under, despite bogeying the last for a 69.

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