Yang stuns Woods to become first Asian major champion | india | Hindustan Times
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Yang stuns Woods to become first Asian major champion

india Updated: Aug 18, 2009 08:24 IST
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Yang Yong-Eun became the the first Asian to capture a major championship, firing a two-under par 70 Sunday to record a shocking upset of Tiger Woods and win the 91st PGA Championship.

The 37-year-old South Korean posted one of the biggest stunners in golf history, defeating Woods by three strokes and snapping the world number one's perfect 14-0 record when leading a major tournament after 54 holes.

The 110th-ranked Asian dynamo went into the final round a heavy underdog as he had only one US PGA victory to 70 career wins and 14 major championships for Woods.

"It will be a crazy party tonight for my friends," Yang said. "I knew the odds were against me. I tried to be the least nervous I have ever been and went for broke."

There is a long list of challengers and would-be major champions who have wilted under Woods's final-round glare but Yang would not go away at the Hazeltine National Golf Club.

Yang, who didn't take up golf until age 19, won by three strokes and spoiled Woods bid to win the PGA for a record-tying fifth time. Yang finished 72 holes on eight-under par 280.

Woods, who went into the day with a two-shot lead, shot a three-over 75.

"He played beautifully," Woods said of Yang. "He did everything he needed to do. You have to make putts I didn't do that."

England's Lee Westwood and rising star Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tied for third, five shots back of Yang and one ahead of US Open champion Lucas Glover.

Yang set the stage for the birdie on 18 with a brilliant 202-yard approach shot that sailed over a tree and rolled onto the green.

Yang, who earned 1.35 million dollars in prize money, clinched the win with a six-foot putt. He then celebrated on the 18th green by hoisting his golf bag in the air with both hands before taking possession of the Wanamaker Trophy.

He not only becomes the first Asian to win a major, he also bettered the previous best performance by a South Korean. His compatriot K.J. Choi was third in the 2004 Masters tournament.

The win beats the top prior major peformances by an Asian of Taiwan's Huan Lu-Liang, who finished runner-up in the 1971 British Open, and Japan's Isao Aoki, who placed second in the 1980 US Open. Taiwan's Chen Tze-Chung also tied for second at the 1985 US Open.

Yang's round included 13 pars, two birdies, two bogeys and chip in for eagle on 14 to take the lead.

Woods was seeking his first major win of the season after missing the cut in the British Open. He did not play in last year's PGA because he was recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

Yang took the lead for the first time on 14 to reach minus-eight. Yang made his lengthy chip in and Woods answered by rolling in a 12-foot putt for birdie to stay one back of Yang as the two slugged it out down the stretch.

Woods parred the first three holes of the round before making the first of his five bogeys for the second-straight day on the par-three fourth hole and then doing it again on No. 8.

Woods three-putted No. 4, missing a routine four footer to the right side of the hole.