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Anders Hansen aiming for third PGA Championship title

Denmark’s Anders Hansen will this week look to join Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Peter Alliss as the only players to win the PGA Championship three times or more.

The 37-year-old Hansen knows he faces a difficult task to repeat his 2007 and 2002 victories in the European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth.

“I think winning it twice is a fair achievement to start with,” the holder said in a news release. “You look at the names I am alongside and get a sense of the importance of the PGA Championship.

“To win it for a third time would be very special,” added Hansen who forms a three-ball with Britons Lee Westwood and Luke Donald in the opening two rounds on Thursday and Friday.

European Ryder Cup captain Faldo lifted the PGA trophy a record four times. Montgomerie, Langer and Alliss are triple champions while Seve Ballesteros, Tony Jacklin and Ian Woosnam were twice winners.

Britain’s David Howell, who won the event in 2006, explained how highly the tournament was regarded by the players.

“This is as big as it gets on the European Tour,” said Howell. “Outside the four majors this is the one to win.”

The 2008 edition carries a record prize fund of 4.5 million euros ($7.01 million) and has attracted a typically strong field.

Among the players hoping to pick up the winner’s cheque of 750,000 euros are world number three Ernie Els, U.S. Open champion Angel Cabrera and ninth-ranked Vijay Singh.

World number 11 Justin Rose is also aiming to go one better than last year when he lost to Hansen in a playoff.

“Coming so close to winning has only strengthened my desire,” said the Briton.

“The PGA Championship means a lot to me, so to win a tournament I really love and a tournament I have come to watch so many times as a kid has always been a dream of mine.”

Rose plays alongside 2005 winner Cabrera and twice U.S. Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal in the first two rounds.

May 21, 2008

 




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