Tue, Feb 12, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Lowery beats Singh in playoff to take Pebble Beach title

AFP , PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Steve Lowery birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Fiji's Vijay Singh and win the PGA Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday, capturing his first PGA title since 2000.

The 47-year-old American fired a four-under 68 to finish level with a fading Singh after 72 holes on 10-under 278, then dropped a six-foot birdie to claim the US$1.08 million top prize at the US$6 million event.

"I felt good. I played well all day. I felt good about how I played against the course," Lowery said. "Vijay is a tough competitor."

But Singh, 44, squandered a three-stroke lead with five holes to play to miss out on his 32nd PGA Tour triumph, which would have made him the non-US player with the most US PGA wins, breaking a deadlock with England's Harry Cooper.

Singh, second on the all-time money list to top-ranked Tiger Woods with more than US$54 million in prize money, has not won a title since last March's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Americans Corey Pavin, John Mallinger and Dudley Hart shared third on 279, with Australian Jason Day sixth on 280.

Singh rescued an up-and-down for par at the 13th, but missed a similar chance at the 14th to trim his lead to two strokes, then missed a six-footer for par at the 15th and left a long par putt two feet short at the 16th.

Just as Singh had fallen into a share of the lead, Lowery seized it for himself by curling home a 10-foot birdie putt at the 17th. A long birdie bid at the 18th hit the cup but stayed out, leaving him in the clubhouse ahead by one.

"It was a tough pin [at 17], right over the hole," Lowery said. "I made a good putt and nearly holed the one at 18."

Singh went three feet past the cup on his birdie attempt at the 17th and watched his par putt curl around the cup and fall in.

At 18, Singh hit a tree, but then blasted near the green and dropped his approach a foot from the cup, tapping in to set up the first title playoff at Pebble Beach since 1992.

But Singh found a bunker off the 18th tee to open the playoff and then botched his second shot, barely escaping the trap. His third found a greenside bunker and while he managed an eventful up-and-down for par, Lowery birdied his way to the title.

Lowery's prior titles came at the 1994 International and 2000 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

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