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  Monday, 21 August, 2000, 00:52 GMT 01:52 UK
Woods holds nerve for historic win
Tiger Woods and Bob May
Tiger Woods and Bob May shake hands at the 18th
Click here for collated USPGA scores.

Tiger Woods beat Bob May in a play-off to win the USPGA title and become the first player since the legendary Ben Hogan to win three Majors in one season.

After trailing May for much of the day, the world's best player produced a birdie blitz during the final five holes to finish tied on 18 under with his little known opponent.

He eventually triumphed, to leave May the consolation of second place ahead of Denmark's Thomas Bjorn.

The play-off, contested over the final three holes of the course, saw Woods decisively birdie the 16th.

Both players showed signs of nerves during the next two holes, with some very wayward drives from Woods in particular.

Tiger Woods
The world No 1 shows his concern during the battle
But he scrambled to make two pars, with a crucial bunker shot at the 18th underlining just what a skilled competitor he is.

The 24-year-old never hesitated from a tricky position, sending the ball to within 18 inches of the pin for a par putt, knowing that May had to hole an almost impossible uphill birdie putt to stay in the contest.

With May unable to sink his putt, Woods tapped in to create more history.

It is 47 years since Hogan held three Majors at the same time, a feat now accomplished by Woods. The Californian also became the first person since Desmond Shute in 1937 to retain the USPGA. He also now holds the lowest scores for all four Majors after his and May's tally of 18 under beat the previous record set by Steve Elkington and Colin Montgomerie in 1995.

All that history looked some way off during the early stages of his round as he saw his overnight lead of one shot disappear and May move ahead.

Woods lost the lead for the first time in a couple of day at the second hole, where he bogeyed the par five while May made birdie.

May maintained his advantage with a solid par at the short third as Tiger missed his birdie putt after attacking the pin ominously off the tee.

Bob May
May: A superb round of golf to force the play-off
May continued his fine start however, with a wonderful wedge out of the rough at the fourth setting up a virtual tap-in for another birdie and a two-shot lead as Tiger had to settle for par.

Both men dropped shots at the next hole and Woods was beginning to look a little fragile.

Firing his tee shot into rough at the par-five eighth, Woods looked set for another troubled hole, but a powerful recovery and a delightful chip and run left him with a tap-in for his first birdie of the day to leave just a shot adrift once more.

But cometh the hour, cometh the man, as Woods began to turn things round at the 8th and 9th with two birdies to tie for the lead.

The leading pair stretched their advantage witha pair of fours at the 10th to move to 14 under.

Tiger Woods
Woods punches the air after sinking another putt
Two more birdies from May and one from Woods saw the lead return to the former. The tone of the battle was set, with May playing the better approaches and forcing his playing partner to hole some very tricky putts.

May, though, showed few signs of cracking under the pressure. A wonderful approach to 14 attacked the flag and left him a six-foot birdie putt to put Woods under pressure again.

But Woods responded at the 14th and 15th to trail by just one shot.

Two pars at the 16th left May at 17 under and Woods at 16.

But the turning point would come at the 17th, where May scrambled a fine par after a wayward tee shot, while Woods holed a six foot birdie putt to draw level.

Both players birdied the 18th, May producing an extraordinary 20 foot downhill putt from off the green and Woods holing from five feet shortly after to force the championship into the play-off.

BBC Five Live's Julian Tutt
Rounds up the exciting climax of the final round.
Tiger Woods
"Winning three majors in a year is pretty special"
Bob May
"I have fulfilled some expectations I had for myself"
Woods' caddie Steve Williams
"This is the most fun we've had"
The BBC's Tony Adamson
Analyses the Tiger Woods phenomenon.
17th - 20th August

BBC golf correspondent Ken Brown picks his players to follow at Valhalla. For a profile of the top players, choose a name from the drop down menu

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See also:

21 Aug 00 | Photo Galleries
21 Aug 00 | USPGA Golf
21 Aug 00 | USPGA Golf
20 Aug 00 | USPGA Golf
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