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Yang stuns Woods for historic PGA Championship win



Chaska, MN (Sports Network) - Y.E. Yang became the first Asian man to win a major championship on Sunday when he stunned third-round leader Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship.

Yang was the first player to ever come from behind and beat Woods in a major championship when the world's best held at least a piece of the 54-hole lead. Woods had been 14-0 with the third-round lead at a major.

Yang birdied the last hole for a two-under 70 on Sunday and won the title at eight-under 280.

Woods finished with a bogey at 18 and shot a three-over 75 to finish three back.

Considering Woods' record in the majors, the fact that he won the last two weeks on the PGA Tour and that he held the lead by himself after each of the first three rounds, Yang's win is nothing short of shocking.

"I don't think anyone's gone 14-for-14 or 15-for-15," said Woods, a four-time PGA Champion. "It was a bad day at the wrong time. That's the way it goes. Today I played well enough to win the championship. I didn't putt well enough to win the championship."

Woods' 75 was his second-worst score in the final round of a major.

Yang and Woods dueled on a sunny Sunday afternoon where the wind at Hazeltine swirled. Scores were high, but Yang, better than anyone, hung in and stared down golf's most daunting task.

"I tried to master the art of controlling my emotions throughout the small wins I had in my career," Yang said through an interpreter. "I think it turned out quite well today."

The two were tied at six-under par when they reached the driveable, par-four 14th. Woods drove into a bunker and Yang came up just short of the putting surface. Woods blasted out to seven feet, but Yang chipped in for an eagle to move in front by himself.

Woods rolled in his birdie effort and trailed by a stroke.

Woods had a great look at birdie on the next hole, but missed. Yang could've put more distance between himself and Woods, but his 12-footer for birdie at 16 died left at the hole.

At the par-three 17th, Yang came up 25 feet short off the tee. Woods' ball was on line with the flag stick, but went over the putting surface. The No. 1 player in the world chipped 10 feet shy of the hole.

Yang showed some nerves. His birdie putt was five feet from the cup. Woods missed his par putt and Yang could all but wrap up the championship. A par would have given him a two-stroke cushion with one to play, but Yang didn't oblige. His putt lipped out and it was off to 18 for the Wanamaker Trophy.

Both drove into the fairway at the par-four final hole. Yang hit a three- hybrid that was headed directly at the hole. When it stopped, Yang had eight feet for birdie.

The pressure was on Woods and he pulled his second into the left rough. He needed to chip-in to have any chance to force a playoff, but his shot from the tall grass rolled past the hole some 10 feet.

Yang ran home his birdie putt and the 37-year-old from Seoul raised his arms and screamed in excitement. In the early hours of Monday morning, his Korean fans watched their countryman make history.

"I do think it's going to be a bit of a crazy party tonight," said Yang, who pocketed $1,350,000 for the victory.

This wasn't the first time Yang got the best of Woods in a final round.

Late in 2006, Yang shot a final-round 69 to beat Woods by two strokes at the HSBC Champions Tournament.

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy both shot two-under 70s on Sunday and shared third place at minus-three. U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover managed a two-over 74 and came in fifth at two-under 286.

Phil Mickelson's week ended with another poor showing. He shot his second 76 in as many days and finished 73rd.

While players like Glover and defending champion Padraig Harrington got near the top of the leaderboard, the lead never left Sunday's final pairing.

Woods missed early birdie chances at the opening two holes. Yang got within one thanks to a birdie at the third, but the two were tied atop the leaderboard after Woods three-putted the fourth green for the second round in a row.

At the fifth, Yang went into the trees with his second, but hit a great shot to five feet. He missed that effort and Woods was back atop the leaderboard by himself.

Woods was not immune from the disasters that came with the par-three eighth hole. Masters champion Angel Cabrera made an eight earlier in the round and Harrington, who was one off the lead, dumped two in the water en route to a tournament-ending eight.

Woods hit a seven-iron into the left bunker. He blasted out and got no check on the ball. It rolled to the collar on the opposite side of the putting surface. Woods missed the 15-footer for par and fell back into a tie for first with Yang.

Woods had a great look at birdie at 10, but missed his seven-footer. He traded a birdie and a bogey at 11 and 12 and once again the two were tied at minus- six.

At 13, Woods hit a spectacular tee ball to eight feet. Yang was in a bunker and did his best to get it to six feet. Woods' putt slid by on the left edge and he tapped in for par. Yang holed the gutsy par save to remain tied.

It was at 14 where the tournament changed. Yang chipped in for eagle, Woods sank a seven-foot birdie putt and Yang was one clear.

"That two-hole stretch turned it," Woods said after his round. "A lot of different things, a lot of different scenarios could have happened in those two holes. But I didn't execute."

Yang did, leaving Woods majorless in 2009. It marked the first time since the 2004 season that Woods failed to pick up a major.

Ernie Els (74), Martin Kaymer (73), Soren Kjeldsen (74) and Henrik Stenson (75) shared sixth at minus-one.

Harrington was one shot off the lead until his quintuple-bogey at the eighth. The defending champion finished with a six-over 78 and was part of a group tied for 10th at even-par 288.

"I hit a bad shot," he said. "These things happen."

08/16 20:55:49 ET


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