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PGA Tour Article

John Daly takes the Buick in Playoff


John Daly playing his third shot on the playoff hole (Par 5 18th) from the greenside bunker. Photo - Getty images
John Daly secured his fifth career PGA win with a birdie on the first sudden death playoff hole against San Diego native, Chris Riley and England’s Luke Donald, the trio having finished the Buick Invitational with 10 under par totals of 278.
After playing a characteristically long drive down the 18th fairway, Daly took a wood and ran through the green into a sand trap at the back. Both of his playoff opponents laid up and played quality third shots, each to within a few feet of the flag. Lying in the sand, with a downhill slope to the hole and very little green between the cup and the water beyond, the pressure was certainly on Daly. Having carefully studied the contours of the green, he proceeded to play a precision shot from the bunker (photo above) to leave a tap-in for birdie.
Luke Donald’s birdie putt rolled just past on the high side (photo right) and Chris Riley could only look on in disbelief as his putt went 180 degrees round the lip and came back towards him. Daly emotionally clasped his hands to his face as the crowd voiced their approval of the outcome.


Luke Donald showing obvious disappointment after missing birdie putt. Photo - Getty Images


Photo - Getty Images
Daly started the final day on 13 under, two shots clear but came back to the field after a triple bogey on a short par 3. He retained his composure and soon was ahead again. Phil Mickelson, who carded a 67, the best score of the day, was in the clubhouse with a 9 under par total of 279, for what must have seemed to him like an eternity. At one stage it looked possible that a nine-way playoff could be on the cards but Daly stayed one shot clear of Mickelson and the others on 9 under to join Riley and Donald who both birdied the 18th to go into the clubhouse a shot clear of the pack.
After a poor start to the week, Tiger Woods finished with a final round of 69 to share 10th position with five others that had a 4-day total of 280, including Stewart Cink (photo right) who started the day on –12, just one shot behind Daly.


Stewart Cink. Photo - Getty Images

Cink was one of several who almost eagled the 18th on Sunday when his approach shot spun back and ran round the lip of the hole.
Vijay Singh’s run of 12 consecutive Top –10 finishes came to an end on Friday afternoon when he failed by one shot to make the cut. He vowed that after a short break he would return to start another run.

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