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Garcia wins playoff to end three-year drought

May 12, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sergio Garcia, the best player without a major, got the next best thing Sunday.

Garcia ended the longest victory drought of his career by making a clutch par putt to force a playoff and hitting the island-green 17th on the first extra hole to defeat Paul Goydos in The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Haunted by putting problems that kept him without a victory the last three years and 53 PGA Tour events, Garcia sank a 45-foot birdie on the 14th to get back in the game and a seven-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a one-under 71.

Goydos, playing in the final group, missed a 15-foot par putt on the 72nd hole for the win. He closed with a 74.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, May 15, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
English soccer: In Monday's Sports section, a Newswire note on the Premier League title game between Manchester United and Wigan said the match took place in London. The game was in Wigan.

That set up the first playoff at The Players since 1987, and the first time it was started on the most notorious par three. Goydos found the water on that playoff hole while Garcia hit to within four feet.

Garcia and Goydos finished 72 holes at 283. Jeff Quinney, who was one back, had a chance to join the playoff but he failed to save par from a bunker behind the 18th green.

Annika Sorenstam shot a closing 66 in the Michelob Ultra Open to break Karrie Webb's tournament record by five shots with a 265 total for a seven-stroke victory in Williamsburg, Pa.

Jeong Jang missed a short putt on the final hole for her first bogey in 35 holes and fell into a tie for second with Christina Kim (69), Allison Fouch (64) and Karen Stupples (66).

Four birdies in five holes on the back nine gave Sorenstam her third victory in eight events this year after a winless 2007.

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TENNIS

Djokovic prevails, gains on Nadal

Third-ranked Novak Djokovic won his 10th title, rallying to beat Stanislas Wawrinka, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, at the Rome Masters. Djokovic's third title of the year will move him within 310 points of second-ranked Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings.

Dina Safina pulled off her third upset of a top-10 player in a week at the German Open, winning the title by defeating ninth-ranked Elena Dementieva, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, in Berlin.

The 17th-ranked Safina also beat No. 1 Justine Henin and No. 8 Serena Williams.

Ivan Ljubicic was two points from losing when he rallied to beat Steve Darcis, 6-7 (6), 7-5, 7-6 (4), in a rare Sunday start for the clay-court Hamburg Masters in Germany.

Marat Safin qualified for the main draw when he beat Evgeny Korolev, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5).

The UCLA, USC and Pepperdine men's teams reached the 16-team NCAA championships in Tulsa, Okla., with second-round victories.

The third-seeded Bruins (23-1) beat Wisconsin (18-10), 4-0, at the Los Angeles Tennis Center for their second straight shutout, and the sixth-seeded Trojans (21-4) defeated California (13-11), 4-0, at Marks Stadium. The 13th-seeded Waves (20-6) beat Stanford (13-9), 4-2, at Ralphs-Strauss Tennis Center.

UCLA will play 14th-seeded Florida State on Friday. USC will play Oklahoma State on the same day, and Pepperdine will face No. 4 Georgia.

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AUTO RACING

Massa edges Hamilton in Turkish Grand Prix

Felipe Massa held off Lewis Hamilton to win his third straight Turkish Grand Prix and earn Ferrari's fourth consecutive Formula One victory in Istanbul.

Massa finished 3.779 seconds ahead of McLaren driver Hamilton to continue a trend of winning from pole position in Turkey. All four winners at the circuit have come from there.

Defending world champion Kimi Raikkonen finished 4.2 seconds back in third place as Hamilton denied Ferrari a third successive sweep of the top two positions.

The second day of Indianapolis 500 qualifying was rained out, marking the third time in the opening week that drivers lost a full day.

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SOCCER

Manchester United takes Premier League

Manchester United won its 10th Premier League title in 16 years and second in a row by beating Wigan, 2-0, on the final day of the season in London.

Chelsea, which went into its final game even on points with United but way behind on goal difference, was held to a 1-1 draw by Bolton and wound up two points behind.

Chelsea will get a chance to rebound when it plays United in the Champions League final on May 21 in Moscow.

Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was named to England's squad for friendly games against the U.S. on May 28 and Trinidad and Tobago on June 1.

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MISCELLANY

Finland rallies past U.S. as brawl follows ending

Mikko Koivu scored with 3:50 left to give Finland (4-0) a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the U.S. (2-2) at the world hockey championships in a matchup that was marred by a postgame brawl in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As the game ended, Dustin Brown of the U.S. drilled Jussi Jokinen into the boards with a hit to the head, touching off a melee. Earlier, Finland's first goal was awarded even though video replays showed it went through the side of the goal's mesh.

Kiesha Brown had 16 points in the visiting Sparks' 106-105 double-overtime exhibition victory over the Minnesota Lynx.

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