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Page last updated at 23:23 GMT, Sunday, 16 August 2009 00:23 UK

Yang outplays Woods for USPGA win

FINAL-ROUND LEADERBOARD:
-8 YE Yang (Kor) -5 T Woods (US) -3 L Westwood (Eng), R McIlroy (NIre) -2 L Glover (US) Selected others: -1 E Els (SA) Level G McDowell (NIre), P Harrington (Ire) +2 I Poulter (Eng), O Wilson (Eng), R Fisher (Eng) +12 P Mickelson (US)


YE Yang
Yang was two strokes behind Woods going into the final round

South Korea's Yang Yong-Eun became the first Asian-born male winner of a major championship when he beat Tiger Woods to clinch the USPGA title at Hazeltine.

The 37-year-old was two shots adrift of overnight leader Woods but held his nerve to card 70 to the American's 75 to win by three on the final green.

Yang's victory ended Woods's run of winning all 14 of his major titles when leading going into the final round.

England's Lee Westwood and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy tied for third.

The pair were five strokes adrift on three under after rounds of 70, with US Open champion Lucas Glover (74) a shot further back.

Defending champion Padraig Harrington, level with Yang at the start, blew his chances with a quintuple-bogey eight on the par-three 8th.

Woods was chasing a 15th major title and a record-equalling fifth USPGA title but unlike in previous majors he failed to hole putts when they really mattered and was unable to pull clear.

Yang, who was ranked 110th in the world before the event, claimed his single PGA Tour victory at the Honda Classic at Riviera earlier this year, but was best known for holding off Woods at the HSBC Champions event in China three years ago.

"I knew the odds were against me. I tried to be the least nervous I have ever been and went for broke," said Yang, speaking through a translator. "I've sort of visualised this quite a few times - playing against the best player in the history of golf, playing with him in the final round in a major. I have always dreamed about this."

Woods, who has won 70 career titles including five this season and two in the last two weeks, said: "It was a fun battle. He played beautifully. He did everything he needed to do.

"I played well enough the entire week to win the championship. I hit the ball great off the tee, hit my irons well. I did everything I needed to do except for getting the ball in the hole. You have to make putts, I didn't do that."

This is the first year Woods has not won at least one major since 2004 and the second time he has finished as runner-up to a surprise winner at Hazeltine. Despite ending with four birdies he lost out to Rich Beem when the USPGA was last held there in 2002.

Woods led at eight under at the start of the day, but dropped back to join the improving Yang at seven under after the 4th.

On the next hole, Yang was back alongside Harrington at six under but the Irishman collapsed when he fired his tee shot and a subsequent chip into the water to the right of the 8th.

YE Yang wins the USPGA
You have to make putts, I didn't do that

Tiger Woods

Woods dropped back alongside Yang at six under after a bogey on the 8th, though the pair still had a two-shot lead over Soren Kjeldsen. But the Dane soon fell back, and entering the back nine Woods and Yang were in a virtual two-horse race at the front.

The world number one pulled ahead again with a birdie on the 11th, only to rejoin his playing partner at six under again after 12.

But Yang, known as "YE", charged into the lead when he chipped in from short of the green for an eagle two on the 14th.

Woods's birdie at the same hole restricted the deficit to one stroke but the swing changed the complexion of the round and the American was unable to get back in front.

Still one ahead going up the 18th, Yang fired to six feet while Woods found the thick fringe grass and took three to get down. Yang stroked in his putt for birdie to clinch the giant Wanamaker Trophy and celebrated by hoisting his golf bag aloft.

Padraig Harrington
Harrington ran up an eight on the par-three 8th after twice finding water

Harrington ended at level par after a round of 78, reminiscent of the way he finished the final day of the WGC event last week when leading Woods late on before finding water and running up a triple bogey.

Glover got to six under and within one of the lead after the 5th, while Sweden's Henrik Stenson was the only other player alongside Kjeldsen to reach four under on the final day.

The pair ended with rounds of 75 and 74 respectively to finish on one under alongside Germany's Martin Kaymer and South Africa's three-time major champion Ernie Els.

Yang joins Angel Cabrera (Masters), Glover (US Open) and Stewart Cink (Open Championship) as the 2009 major winners.

The previous best performance by a South Korean in a major was KJ Choi's third in the 2004 Masters tournament.

Formerly, the best Asian results in a major were Taiwan's Huan Lu-Liang, who finished runner-up in the 1971 Open, Japan's Isao Aoki, who placed second in the 1980 US Open and Taiwan's Chen Tze-Chung (TC Chen) who also tied for second at the 1985 US Open.



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see also
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USPGA final round photos
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USPGA day four as it happened
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Woods in charge for USPGA finale
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USPGA third round photos
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USPGA second round photos
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Woods lays down gauntlet in USPGA
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USPGA first round photos
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USPGA photos
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Golf on the BBC
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