Date: August 31, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Day claims top-20 finish

Heath Slocum saved par in dramatic fashion at the final hole to clinch a one-shot victory in The Barclays at Liberty National. With Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els all in the clubhouse at eight-under, Slocum and playing partner Steve Stricker – also on nine-under – both found bunkers off the tee at the 18th. Neither was able to reach the green in two, and when Slocum eventually left his third shot 20 feet short of the hole and Stricker 10 feet, a play-off looked certain. But Slocum rolled his putt into the middle of the hole, and then watched Stricker miss on the left as he claimed his first PGA Tour victory since 2005 and the biggest of his career. The 35-year-old qualified for the FedEx play-offs in 124th place out of 125 but now heads into next week&aposs Deutsche Bank Championship ranked third. Slocum said: “That&aposs what it&aposs all about. I was sweating it out last week. I didn&apost even know if I&aposd be here. I came in here with the attitude that I had nothing to lose.” Young gun Jason Day finished the tournament strongly with a closing four-under 67 to be the leading Australian in the field in a tie for 12th, while Robert Allenby (69) was a further shot back. Multiple major winners Woods and Harrington had climbed into contention with four-under rounds of 67 on Saturday, and they both repeated the feat on Sunday, with Els going one better with a 66. Woods could have matched the South African but uncharacteristically missed a six-foot birdie putt on the last. Harrington has found some form over the last few weeks and he again finished strongly, birdieing four of his last seven holes. England&aposs Ian Poulter had to settle for a tie for ninth after shooting a one-under round of 70 to move to five-under. That was the same score as Paul Goydos, who had gone into the final round as the joint leader on nine-under but could manage only a 75. Steve Marino, who was in the final pairing with Goydos, fared even worse, however, slumping to a 77 to finish tied for 15th. US PGA winner YE Yang posted a 71 to finish at two-under, two ahead of European leading lights Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald. Meanwhile Kiwi Danny Lee completed a strong week in a switch to the European Tour in equal 10th at the Johnnie Walker Championship, seven strokes behind tournament winner Peter Hedblom at Gleneagles. Lee leapt up seven spots from an overnight tie for 17th with a three-under 69 that epitomised the teenager&aposs enigmatic style. Australia&aposs Scott Arnold and Michael Curtain were well back in a tie for 51st at four-over. Hedblom, the 39-year-old Swede, was relieved not only that he had grabbed his third European Tour victory in 364 starts, but also that he did not need a play-off. Four times Hedblom has gone into sudden death in his career and four times he has lost – the most recent of them last Sunday in Holland when England&aposs Simon Dyson sank an 18-foot birdie putt. On this occasion, though, a five-under-par round of 67 gave the former Malaysian and Moroccan Open champion his first success actually on European soil. Hedblom beat compatriot Martin Erlandsson by one after Erlandsson, joint 20th overnight, had set the clubhouse target with an astonishing 62, the lowest round of his life. Defending champion Gregory Havret and Scotland&aposs former Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie shared third place.