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Jim Furyk wins Grand Slam of Golf in a playoff

American Jim Furyk eagled the first playoff hole here Wednesday to defeat Ireland's Padraig Harrington and win the 26th PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

Harrington, the British Open and PGA Championship winner, and Furyk each fired a two-under par 68 for the second day in a row at the Mid Ocean Club to stand on 136 entering the playoff.

"I kind of treated the week like I had nothing to lose, was going come over here and have fun," Furyk said. "Rarely do I kind of go in just think about having fun. I'm usually all business and maybe it's something to learn."

Furyk, who birdied the par-5 18th hole to complete regulation play and force the playoff, eagled the same hole to take the title, a birdie by Harrington on the extra hole not enough to extend the duel.

"I was pretty much in there all day," Harrington said. "I got a little bit in between clubs at the last maybe and tried to help it a bit. It was a slip-up on 18, and that was it, really."

South African Retief Goosen fired a one-over 71 to finish third on 141, four strokes ahead of compatriot Trevor Immelman, the Masters champion who fired a 69 Wednesday after struggling to a 76 in the first round.

The 36-hole showdown was supposed to match the year's four Grand Slam champions but US Open champion Tiger Woods is injured and Harrington won two majors, so Furyk and Goosen filled the field in the 1.35 million-dollar event.

"I really came here with very - I won't say low expectations - but came here without a lot of expectations," Furyk said. "It's kind of a wonder that I'm even in the event to start with."

Furyk won 600,000 dollars, twice the runner-up money for Harrington, while Goosen took home 250,000 dollars and Immelman 200,000.

"Third looks like about as good as I can do in these events," Goosen said after his third third-place showing in the event.

"I'm happy with the week. It's nice to get in and play. Played OK but putted bad and pity I couldn't be there a little bit closer coming down the run."

Harrington opened and closed the front nine with back-to-back birdies, sandwiched around a bogey at the fifth, and stretched his lead to two strokes with another birdie at the 11th.

Even when Harrington took a bogey at the par-4 12th, Furyk also made bogey to stay two strokes back while Goosen made a triple-bogey at 12, stumbling from four strokes to six off the pace.

Furyk, who had birdied the par-3 third and par-4 sixth holes, then birdied the par-3 13th to close within a stroke and the US veteran took a one-stroke lead when Harrington took a double-bogey at the par-4 15th.

Harrington reclaimed the lead with a birdie at the par-3 17th while Furyk took a bogey on the hole. But Furyk answered with a birdie on 18 to force the playoff.


October 16, 2008

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