PGA Tour
Yang earns first PGA Tour title



Palm Beach Gardens, FL (Sports Network) - Y.E. Yang birdied three straight holes on the front nine Sunday, then hung on to defeat John Rollins and win the Honda Classic by a single stroke.

Yang, who entered the event ranked 460th in the world, shot a two-under 68 and completed his first PGA Tour title at nine-under-par 271. His best previous finish on the PGA Tour was a share of ninth at last year's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

He joined K.J. Choi as the only two Koreans to win on the PGA Tour.

"I'm just very happy right now for the way I played today," said Yang through a translator. "Before I went out this morning, my coach told me not to rush anything and keep your own routine, take it steady, and that's what I did today."

Rollins birdied four of five holes around the turn and got within one thanks to a birdie on the 18th, but it wasn't enough. He closed with a three-under 67 on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa to take second place at minus-eight.

Ben Crane, who had the lead at one point during the third round, closed with a two-under 68 to finish alone in third at six-under-par 274. Jeff Klauk took fourth at minus-five after stumbling to a one-over 71 on Sunday

Yang led by one to start the round and quickly pulled away from the field. He drained a 20-footer for birdie on the par-five third to push his lead to two shots.

The Korean made it two in a row with an 11-footer for birdie at four. Yang dropped his tee shot within four feet at the fifth and drained that birdie effort to move to 10-under, where he led by four strokes.

Yang's birdie run was stopped by a bogey on the sixth. He recovered that lost stroke with a 19-foot birdie putt at eight.

He parred three straight from the ninth. Yang climbed to 11-under with an eight-foot birdie putt at 12. His lead was four at that point, but it started to dwindle.

Yang, who took down Tiger Woods at the 2008 HSBC Champions event on the European Tour, bogeyed the 15th and 17th after finding sand off the tee at both par-threes.

Needing par at the par-five 18th to secure the win, Yang played his third 50 feet left of the hole. He calmly rolled his birdie effort within two feet and kicked that in to secure his first tour win and a trip back to Augusta for the Masters.

"I thought I was only going to the Masters once, which was my dream, but now that I'm going back again, I'm going to have fun over there," said Yang, who collected $1,008,000 for the win.

Rollins was three back to start the round and opened with six consecutive pars. He stumbled to a bogey on the seventh, but flew up the leaderboard with four birdies in his next five holes to jump into contention at minus-eight.

The 33-year-old Rollins tripped to a bogey on the 15th. He recovered that stroke with a six-foot birdie putt at the last to finish one back.

"I'm proud of myself. I played well all week and just to give myself that opportunity coming down the stretch ... that's what we're here for," Rollins said. "I did that, just one short, but a great week."

First-round leader Robert Allenby closed with an even-par 70 to share fifth place at four-under-par 276. He was joined there by Fredrik Jacobson (70), Will MacKenzie (70) and Scott Piercy (65).

03/08 18:54:28 ET