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Leonard birdies 2nd hole, wins 12th time on tour, his 2nd at Memphis

Leonard birdies 2nd hole, wins 12th time on tour, his 2nd at Memphis

Justin Leonard won the Stanford St. Jude Championship in a playoff Sunday, holing a 19-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to beat Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Robert Allenby.
Leonard blew a one-stroke lead with two holes left to drop into the playoff, but won on the 150-yard, par-3 11th when Immelman pushed his birdie attempt past the hole.
It's Leonard's 12th PGA Tour title, his second at TPC Southwind and his first since the 2007 Valero Texas Open. He closed with a 4-under 68 to match Allenby (65) and Immelman (69) at 4-under 276.
Leonard earned $1.08 million and now is fifth in the Ryder Cup standings. He has not played in the Ryder Cup since 1999, when his 45-foot putt on the 17th hole at Brookline clinched the largest comeback in history.
Leonard was the closest to a birdie on the first hole of the playoff on the par-4 18th only to come up a foot short. All three parred, sending the playoff to the island green at No. 11, where each had good shots.
Allenby, who came in undefeated worldwide in 10 playoffs, went first from 21 1/2 feet and missed a foot to the right. Leonard stroked in his putt next, the ball slowing near the cup to show off the Nike logo before falling in.
Immelman, who birdied the last three holes of regulation to join the playoff, had the shortest putt at 11 feet to push the playoff to a third hole. But he just missed, giving the title to Leonard.
Sergio Garcia (66), Padraig Harrington (68), Boo Weekley (68) and Alex Cejka (70) tied for fourth at 3 under.
That birdie kept Leonard from wondering what happened after he had the lead to himself with a birdie on No. 15.
He missed a chance to pad that margin on the par-5 16th when his approach went over the green, and he had to salvage par. His tee shot on No. 17 went into the right rough, and Leonard chipped out into the fairway and pushed a par putt from 15 feet 3 feet past the hole.
On No. 18, Leonard still had a chance to win without a playoff. He stuck an iron from 176 yards to 13 feet and rolled a nice putt that missed just left of the hole.
Gavin Coles, the Australian whose only win this year was on the Nationwide Tour at the Louisiana Open, was the last player with a chance to win in 72 holes if he birdied the 18th. He sent his tee shot into the right rough, his second into a greenside bunker and blasted out over the green into the rough. He couldn't hole his chip to get into the playoff, then double bogeyed for a 71 and a 278 total that left him tied for eighth with Tom Pernice, who carded the tourney's best round at 63, and Scott Verplank (68).
Allenby walked over to the range to warm up, while Leonard grabbed a cool drink in the shade behind the 18th green before walking over to the range himself while the final two groups finished. Immelman, in the last group, two of the last three holes and had a 23-footer for birdie on No. 18 to make it a three-man playoff. He did, celebrating with a fist pump.


Updated : 2021-06-18 04:20 GMT+08:00