Leonard is king in Memphis

By TERESA M. WALKER
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Justin Leonard thought he won on the final hole of regulation only to see his ball go left of the cup. Then he was a foot away from victory on the first playoff hole.

His ball rolled one last turn into the cup on the next hole.

Leonard won the Stanford St. Jude Championship in a playoff Sunday, holing a 19-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to beat Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Robert Allenby.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Leonard triumphs in Memphis

Leonard blew a one-stroke lead with two holes left to drop into the playoff, but won on the 150-yard, par-3 11th when Immelman pushed his birdie attempt past the hole.

“I don’t think that ball would’ve rolled another half-inch,” Leonard said. “It just barely got there (because) the greens are so dry and fast.”

It’s Leonard’s 12th PGA Tour title, his second at TPC Southwind and his first since the 2007 Valero Texas Open – also in a playoff. He closed with a 2-under 68 to match Allenby (65) and Immelman (69) at 4-under 276, the highest 72-hole total since this event moved to TPC Southwind in 1989.

Leonard earned $1.08 million and now is fifth in the Ryder Cup standings with five top-10 finishes this year. He hasn’t played in the Ryder Cup since 1999, when his 45-foot putt on the 17th hole at Brookline clinched the largest comeback in history.

Strangers still ask him most about that putt, not his 1997 British Open victory, and he even heard about it a couple times Sunday. It’s why he is so eager to play his way back onto the Ryder Cup team.

“I don’t know how much of a lock I am, but I feel pretty good about making it. I’m looking forward to being on that team, and I’m looking forward to us winning again soon,” Leonard said.

It was almost a perfect day for the Texan who spent last week practicing in the Dallas heat, albeit wearing shorts and riding a cart. He started Sunday tied for seventh and was one of 10 who had a share of the lead at some point in the final round with the temperature feeling hotter than 100 degrees.

Leonard was the closest to a birdie on the first hole of the playoff on the par-4 18th only to come up a foot short. All three parred, sending the playoff to the island green at No. 11, where each had good shots.

Allenby, who came in undefeated worldwide in 10 playoffs, went first from 20 feet and missed a foot to the right. Leonard stroked in his putt next, the ball slowing near the cup to show off the Nike logo before falling in.

Immelman, who birdied the last three holes of regulation to join the playoff, had the shortest putt at 11 feet to push the playoff to a third hole in search of his second win in eight weeks. But he just missed, giving the title to Leonard.

“I was comfortable with my lie,” Immelman said. “I felt like it was just left edge. I thought I hit a pretty good putt. It just didn’t turn at all, finished right behind the hole unfortunately. But Justin made a great putt. Birdie to win is pretty nice.”

Allenby said he thought his streak in playoffs had to come to an end sometime.

“I lost to a good putt. There’s no bad thoughts about that,” he said.

Sergio Garcia (66), Padraig Harrington (68), Boo Weekley (68) and Alex Cejka (70) tied for fourth at 3 under.

Leonard’s victory kept him from wondering what happened after he had the lead to himself with a birdie on No. 15.

He missed a chance to pad that margin on the par-5 16th when his approach went over the green, and he had to salvage par. His tee shot on No. 17 went into the right rough, and Leonard chipped out into the fairway and pushed a par putt from 15 feet 3 feet past the hole.

On No. 18, Leonard still had a chance to win without a playoff. He stuck an iron from 176 yards to 13 feet and rolled a nice putt that missed just left of the hole.

Gavin Coles, the Australian whose only win this year was on the Nationwide Tour at the Louisiana Open, was the last player with a chance to win in 72 holes if he birdied the 18th. He sent his tee shot into the right rough, his second into a greenside bunker and blasted out over the green into the rough. He couldn’t hole his chip to get into the playoff, then double bogeyed for a 71 and a 278 total that left him tied for eighth with Tom Pernice, who carded the tourney’s best round at 63, and Scott Verplank (68).

“It was like a train wreck,” Coles said.

Allenby walked over to the range to warm up, while Leonard grabbed a cool drink in the shade behind the 18th green before walking over to the range himself while the final two groups finished. Immelman, in the last group, two of the last three holes and had a 23-footer for birdie on No. 18 to make it a three-man playoff. He did, celebrating with a fist pump.

Only 12 players finished under par. Tim Clark started with a two-stroke lead before opening with a triple-bogey and finished with a 78 and tied for 18th.

Divots: Leonard is the fifth multiple winner in Memphis, joining Dave Hill (four), Lee Trevino (three), Nick Price (two) and David Toms (two). ... Leonard is 2-4 in playoffs, while Immelman is 0-2. ... Garcia had the only bogey-free round Sunday. ... Pernice’s finish kept him waiting around to see if he made a playoff, and he missed seeing his 13-year-old daughter Brooke, who suffers from a rare congenital disease that has left her blind, sing the national anthem before the Cubs-Dodgers game Sunday night.

Final scores with relation to par and earnings from the Stanford St. Jude Championship, played June 5-8 at the par-70, 7,244-yard TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn. (Note: a-amateur; x-won in playoff):

  1. x-Justin Leonard (4,500) $1,080,000 68-73-67-68--276

    -4 2. Robert Allenby (2,200) 528,000 71-71-69-65--276

    -4 2. Trevor Immelman (2,200) 528,000 74-66-67-69--276

    -4 4. Sergio Garcia (984) 236,250 68-72-71-66--277

    -3 4. Padraig Harrington (984) 236,250 71-72-66-68--277

    -3 4. Boo Weekley (984) 236,250 65-75-69-68--277

    -3 4. Alex Cejka (984) 236,250 69-69-69-70--277

    -3 8. Tom Pernice Jr. (725) 174,000 72-72-71-63--278

    -2 8. Scott Verplank (725) 174,000 71-72-67-68--278

    -2 8. Gavin Coles (725) 174,000 73-64-70-71--278

    -2 11. Bob Heintz (600) 144,000 73-70-68-68--279

    -1 11. Vijay Singh (600) 144,000 67-71-70-71--279

    -1 13. Tim Herron (455) 109,200 74-67-69-70--280

    E 13. Jason Dufner (455) 109,200 69-68-72-71--280

    E 13. Bob Estes (455) 109,200 74-65-70-71--280

    E 13. Dean Wilson (455) 109,200 69-68-71-72--280

    E 13. Stephen Ames (455) 109,200 69-71-68-72--280

    E 13. Tim Clark (315) 75,600 72-69-64-75--280

    E 19. Camilo Villegas (315) 75,600 71-71-71-68--281
    + 1 19. Dan Forsman (315) 75,600 70-70-72-69--281
    + 1 19. Michael Letzig (315) 75,600 70-68-72-71--281
    + 1 19. J.P. Hayes (315) 75,600 70-71-69-71--281
    + 1 19. Bill Haas (315) 75,600 71-69-67-74--281
    + 1 24. Jeff Maggert (181) 43,445 71-70-74-67--282
    + 2 24. Heath Slocum (181) 43,445 73-67-74-68--282
    + 2 24. Davis Love III (181) 43,445 68-70-75-69--282
    + 2 24. Brett Rumford (181) 43,445 69-73-70-70--282
    + 2 24. Stuart Appleby (181) 43,445 68-76-68-70--282
    + 2 24. Bart Bryant (181) 43,445 69-76-67-70--282
    + 2 24. Glen Day (181) 43,445 69-71-71-71--282
    + 2 24. Kenny Perry (181) 43,445 71-71-69-71--282
    + 2 24. Bob Tway (181) 43,445 72-71-68-71--282
    + 2 24. T. Armour III (181) 43,445 66-71-73-72--282
    + 2 24. Omar Uresti (181) 43,445 70-69-71-72--282
    + 2 35. Jeff Overton (132) 31,650 70-71-70-72--283
    + 3 35. Brandt Snedeker (132) 31,650 69-71-69-74--283
    + 3 37. David Toms (113) 27,000 72-72-71-69--284
    + 4 37. Craig Kanada (113) 27,000 68-72-74-70--284
    + 4 37. R. Johnson (113) 27,000 72-73-69-70--284
    + 4 37. Vaughn Taylor (113) 27,000 70-72-71-71--284
    + 4 37. Marc Turnesa (113) 27,000 68-69-70-77--284
    + 4 42. John Huston (83) 19,834 71-69-75-70--285
    + 5 42. Brandt Jobe (83) 19,834 71-74-70-70--285
    + 5 42. Fredrik Jacobson (83) 19,834 73-72-69-71--285
    + 5 42. Michael Bradley (83) 19,834 69-68-76-72--285
    + 5 42. Scott Sterling (83) 19,834 70-70-73-72--285
    + 5 42. Rich Beem (83) 19,834 71-72-70-72--285
    + 5 42. Jeff Gove (83) 19,834 70-73-67-75--285
    + 5 49. Brenden Pappas (61) 14,660 73-70-77-66--286
    + 6 49. Ken Duke (61) 14,660 72-72-73-69--286
    + 6 49. Lucas Glover (61) 14,660 71-71-74-70--286
    + 6 49. Woody Austin (61) 14,660 71-72-73-70--286
    + 6 49. Bob May (61) 14,660 75-69-70-72--286
    + 6 49. Marco Dawson (61) 14,660 71-71-72-72--286
    + 6 55. Jonathan Byrd (57) 13,740 69-75-73-70--287
    + 7 55. Jin Park (57) 13,740 73-71-67-76--287
    + 7 57. Todd Demsey (56) 13,440 73-72-72-71--288
    + 8 57. Jimmy Walker (56) 13,440 70-74-72-72--288
    + 8 57. Jim McGovern (56) 13,440 71-68-72-77--288
    + 8 60. David Duval (54) 13,020 70-75-72-72--289
    + 9 60. Garrett Willis (54) 13,020 72-73-69-75--289
    + 9 60. Brian Gay (54) 13,020 76-67-70-76--289
    + 9 60. Kevin Streelman (54) 13,020 74-69-69-77--289
    + 9 64. Webb Simpson 0 12,660 71-72-75-72--290
    + 10 64. Charley Hoffman (53) 12,660 69-75-71-75--290
    + 10 66. Dicky Pride (52) 12,360 75-70-75-71--291
    + 11 66. Stephen Leaney (52) 12,360 70-74-73-74--291
    + 11 66. Patrick Sheehan (52) 12,360 73-70-72-76--291
    + 11 69. Eric Axley (50) 11,940 70-71-78-73--292
    + 12 69. Brad Elder (50) 11,940 69-76-73-74--292
    + 12 69. Harrison Frazar (50) 11,940 72-70-74-76--292
    + 12 69. Troy Matteson (50) 11,940 74-70-71-77--292
    + 12 73. Billy Andrade (49) 11,640 76-68-73-76--293
    + 13 WD. M. Calcavecchia

    70-74-77-WD


    • • •





    Missed the cut





    75. Jay Williamson

    71-75--146
    + 6 75. Tom Byrum

    74-72--146
    + 6 75. Ron Whittaker

    74-72--146
    + 6 75. Vance Veazey

    69-77--146
    + 6 75. Chad Campbell

    72-74--146
    + 6 75. Tim Petrovic

    73-73--146
    + 6 75. Chris Rogers

    72-74--146
    + 6 82. Mike Heinen

    73-74--147
    + 7 82. Shaun Micheel

    74-73--147
    + 7 82. Brian Davis

    73-74--147
    + 7 82. Kris Cox

    73-74--147
    + 7 82. Richard Johnson

    74-73--147
    + 7 82. Bob Burns

    73-74--147
    + 7 82. Cliff Kresge

    78-69--147
    + 7 82. Jason Allred

    70-77--147
    + 7 82. Brad Adamonis

    74-73--147
    + 7 82. Cody Freeman

    68-79--147
    + 7 92. Ted Purdy

    77-71--148
    + 8 92. Fred Funk

    72-76--148
    + 8 92. Grant Waite

    75-73--148
    + 8 92. Jesper Parnevik

    73-75--148
    + 8 92. Doug LaBelle II

    73-75--148
    + 8 92. Chris Riley

    74-74--148
    + 8 92. Tim Wilkinson

    75-73--148
    + 8 92. Paul Goydos

    80-68--148
    + 8 92. Ryan Palmer

    70-78--148
    + 8 92. John Riegger

    75-73--148
    + 8 92. Robert Gamez

    73-75--148
    + 8 92. Casey Wittenberg

    75-73--148
    + 8 104. Ryan Armour

    75-74--149
    + 9 104. Corey Pavin

    75-74--149
    + 9 104. Justin Bolli

    75-74--149
    + 9 104. Y.E. Yang

    71-78--149
    + 9 104. Martin Laird

    78-71--149
    + 9 104. M. Gronberg

    75-74--149
    + 9 104. Kevin Stadler

    73-76--149
    + 9 104. Tag Ridings

    74-75--149
    + 9 112. Scott McCarron

    77-73--150
    + 10 112. Chris Stroud

    75-75--150
    + 10 112. Danny Briggs

    73-77--150
    + 10 112. Jonathan Kaye

    78-72--150
    + 10 112. C. Howell III

    73-77--150
    + 10 117. Frank Lickliter II

    74-77--151
    + 11 117. Andrew Buckle

    77-74--151
    + 11 117. Tom Scherrer

    75-76--151
    + 11 117. Travis Perkins

    75-76--151
    + 11 121. Olin Browne

    75-77--152
    + 12 121. Charles Warren

    76-76--152
    + 12 121. Craig Barlow

    76-76--152
    + 12 121. Paul Claxton

    74-78--152
    + 12 121. Chad Collins

    76-76--152
    + 12 121. Charlie Wi

    76-76--152
    + 12 121. Mark Brooks

    74-78--152
    + 12 121. Jay Delsing

    73-79--152
    + 12 121. Kyle Thompson

    75-77--152
    + 12 121. a-Jamie Lovemark

    77-75--152
    + 12 131. J.L. Lewis

    75-78--153
    + 13 131. Chris Smith

    72-81--153
    + 13 131. C. Beckman

    74-79--153
    + 13 131. Retief Goosen

    75-78--153
    + 13 131. John Daly

    72-81--153
    + 13 131. Len Mattiace

    78-75--153
    + 13 131. Bo Van Pelt

    78-75--153
    + 13 138. Chris DiMarco

    77-77--154
    + 14 139. Steve Allan

    83-72--155
    + 15 139. Steve Lowery

    75-80--155
    + 15 139. Joe Durant

    78-77--155
    + 15 139. Larry Mize

    73-82--155
    + 15 143. Russ Cochran

    79-77--156
    + 16 143. David Lutterus

    79-77--156
    + 16 143. Tommy Gainey

    80-76--156
    + 16 146. Jim Gallagher Jr.

    79-78--157
    + 17 146. Bob Sowards

    76-81--157
    + 17 148. Notah Begay III

    80-78--158
    + 18 149. N. Thompson

    77-82--159
    + 19 150. John Morse

    79-81--160
    + 20 151. Kelvin Burgin

    84-81--165
    + 25 WD. Carlos Franco

    77-WD


    WD. Brent Geiberger

    77-WD


    WD. Kent Jones

    81-WD


    DQ. Lucas Wald

    78-85-DQ


    DQ. Michael Allen

    81-DQ
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