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Major Toms Captures PGA Championship

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This time David did defeat Goliath.
 
David Toms took a gamble on the final hole and it paid. After laying up on the longest par-4 in major history, Toms made a 12-foot par putt to once again deny Phil Mickelson his maiden major championship title.
 
Toms shot a final-round 1-under-par 69 at the Atlanta Athletic Club to win the 83rd PGA Championship in Duluth, Ga., by one shot over Mickelson.
 
In addition to the $936,000 first-place check, the victory also gives the 34-year-old Louisianan a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
 
'This is unbelievable,' said Toms after his sixth career PGA Tour win. 'I really wanted to make the team, but I wanted to earn my way on.'
 
More from Toms on his first major win.
 
Toms' victory knocked Tom Lehman out of the top-10 on the points list. Curtis Strange will announce his captain's picks Monday morning.
 
Toms finished the tournament at 15-under-par 265. The aggregate score broke, by two strokes, the record first set at Royal St. George by Greg Norman in the 1993 British Open and later matched by Steve Elkington, who beat Colin Montgomerie in a playoff in the 1995 PGA Championship at Riviera.
 
Mickelson was one shot higher at 14-under.
 
Its certainly disappointing, and its going to make for a difficult off-season, a disappointed Mickelson said.
 
This was the seventh time Mickelson entered the final round of a major within two shots of the lead, and the seventh time he has failed to produce victory.
 
It took all 72 holes to determine the champion. Leading by one on the 490-yard, par-4 18th, Toms hit his tee shot into the right rough.
 
Rather than taking a chance of hitting his approach shot into the water guarding the flagstick, Toms chose to lay up some 100 yards from the hole.
 
It was a decision that would have been questioned forever - had it not worked.
 
Toms then spun his third shot within 15 feet.
 
I really didnt want to have to do that, but I was in the rough two inches and felt like that was my best way to make par, Toms said.
 
Said Mickelson: 'I actually was hoping he would go for it. Off of that lie, I didn't see any way of the ball staying on the green.'
 
Mickelson laced his tee shot on the final hole down the center of the fairway, and played his second 25 feet right of the hole.
 
With a chance to tie Toms for the lead, Mickelson had the proper line, but left his putt inches short. He tapped in for par, and then watched as Toms confidently sank his winning putt.
 
The scene was similar to that of 1999, when Payne Stewart was forced to lay up on the final hole of the U.S. Open.
 
Stewart saved par from 15 feet, while Mickelson missed his birdie putt to tie.
 
Once again, fate had toyed with Mickelson's emotions.
 
'It just seemed like (Toms' putt) was destined to go in,' said Mickelson, who is know 0-for-34 in the major since turning pro a decade ago. 'I don't know what to say other than it's certainly disappointing.'
 

 
Steve Lowery (68) finished in third place at 12-under. Shingo Katayama (70) and Mark Calcavecchia (65) tied for fourth. The finish guarantees Katayama a spot in next years Masters Tournament.
 
This years Masters champion, Tiger Woods, concluded a disappointing title defense with a 70. He tied for 29th place.
 
It was a year ago that Woods defeated a figurative David in the form of Bob May to capture his second consecutive PGA Championship.
 
With his finish this year, Woods has now failed to earn a top-10 in a major since winning his fourth straight major championship at the Masters.
 
If you want to play this game for a long period of time, and I may be playing this game as long as Arnold (Palmer) has been playing ' into my 60s and 70s competitively ' I dont think you can beat yourself up over every single shot and over every single round in every single tournament.
 
Sunday turned out to be a very frustrating day for a pair of past major champions. Playing side-by-side, David Duval and Davis Love III shot 74 and 77, respectively.
 
Duval, fresh off his victory in the British Open, started the day five off the lead, but bogeyed Nos. 2 and 3 and doubled the par-5 12th to tie for 10th.
 
Love, who started the day seven back, tripled the 12th and finished tied for 37th.
 
Toms started the final round leading Mickelson by two and was forced to make a 10-foot par save at the 1st to maintain the advantage.
 
Mickelson cut his deficit to one by birdieing the par-4 2nd, and then pulled even by making another birdie at the 5th.
 
The left-hander appeared to be ready to take the lead at the par-3 7th, but caught a bad break. A near-perfect tee shot hit the flagstick and kicked off of the putting surface. He eventually two-putted for par.
 
Speaking of par, thats all Toms scribbled on his scorecard over his first eight holes. That finally changed at the par-4 9th, where Toms stuffed his approach shot to within two feet of the hole.
 
On the other hand, Mickelson pulled his tee shot at the 9th into the right rough. His second shot came up woefully short of the green and he carded his first bogey of the day.
 
The two-shot swing gave Toms a two-shot lead at 15-under-par.
 

 
Toms, however, gave one of those shots back on the very next hole, when he pushed a three-foot par putt.
 
Meanwhile, Katayama joined the fray when his second shot on the par-5 12th hit the brick barrier separating the green and the water. His ball stayed dry, caroming over the green and into the gallery.
 
Katayama nearly chipped in for eagle, but settled for a tap-in birdie and pulled to within one shot of the lead at 13-under.
 
The tours newest fan favorite then kissed his hand and patted it on the brick surrounding.
 
The incident was just another showing of the Kats nine lives. Saturday, he twice hit the bricks on Nos. 17 and 18; both times he saved par.
 
Unfortunately for Katayama, he bogeyed the 14th and 15th to fall from contention. In fact, the water finally got him on the 72nd hole, when his approach shot found the hazard.
 
As it was, the tournament was deceided by the final pairing.
 
For the second time in the final round, Mickelson managed to tie Toms at the top by birdieing the 12th.
 
Both men cleared the water and found the back of the green. But after each lagged to about four feet. Toms missed his birdie effort, while Mickelson made his.
 
Once again, the final twosome was tied for the lead at 14-under; however, it didnt last for long.
 
Toms hits his approach shot on the par-4 13th to eight feet. This time he converted the birdie putt to regain a one-shot lead at 15-under.
 
He then coaxed in a lightning-quick 20-footer for birdie at the 14th, as Mickelson again struggled to make par.
 
Toms took a two-shot lead at 16-under into the par-3 15th. Saturday, he struck a 5-wood from 243 yards and found the bottom of the cup in a single shot. Sunday, however, he played overly cautious and placed his tee shot into the left-hand bunker ' well away from the water, but also well away from the hole.
 
Toms bunker blast finished some 18 feet from the flag, where he two-putted for bogey.
 
This day, the 15th belonged to Mickelson. Despite missing the green long, the short-game wizard chipped in for birdie.
 
Another two-shot swing. This time favoring Mickelson.
 
It marked the third time on the day that Mickelson had overcome a two-shot deficit.
 
But just as he had done on the previous two occasions, Mickelson let his share of the lead slip away. After overhearing a few fans say how slow his putt would be, Mickelson raced his lengthy birdie effort at the par-4 16th six feet past the hole and didnt make the comebacker for par.
 
Toms was 1-up at 15-under with two to play.
 
Both men two-putted for par at the 17th, leaving the 18th to determine the ultimate outcome.
 
Full-field scores from the 83rd PGA Championship

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