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Jim Furyk won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf for the second time in dramatic fashion. (Photo: The PGA of America)

Furyk edges Harrington with sudden-death eagle

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Jim Furyk captured his second PGA Grand Slamof Golf title in dramatic fashion Wednesday. Furyk birdied the par-5 18th hole at Mid Ocean Club to tie Padraig Harrington, then eagled it in sudden death for the victory.

By John Kim, Coordinating Producer

TUCKER'S TOWN, Bermuda -- Jim Furyk remained calm amid a storm of severe momentum swings Wednesday to win his second PGA Grand Slam of Golf title, this time in a playoff over newly crowned PGA Player of the Year Padraig Harrington.

"I really came here with very, I won't say low expectations, but came here without a lot of expectations," stated the 2003 U.S. Open champion. "It's kind of a wonder that I'm even in the event to start with.

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"So I kind of treated the week like I had nothing to lose, was going come over here and have fun," he explained. " Rarely do I kind of go in just think about having fun. I'm usually all business and maybe it's something to learn."

Furyk, who collected $600,000 for the win, was competing in his fourth PGA Grand Slam of Golf and earned his second win.

"Obviously [I'm] very happy with the outcome."

In a scenario eerily similar to last year at the same Mid Ocean Club, Harrington took a one-shot lead to the final hole only to be one-upped by his opponent to force a playoff. And again, like in 2007, his opponent took advantage of the opportunity to wrestle the title away.

The playoff saw both Harrington and Furyk with eagle putts on the 18th hole (the first hole of sudden death) with Harrington's putt perfectly on line but with a little too much speed as it hit the back of the cup and popped out to a couple of feet away. His tap-in birdie was not good enough, as Furyk stepped up and drilled his 8-foot eagle putt for the victory.

The final-round battle, which saw as many twists and turns as the narrow roadways that lead to the host Mid Ocean Club, saw a flurry of changes at the top of the leaderboard -- especially on the final nine holes.

"There was some pretty big changes in score and also mental thought processes," Furyk noted about the back-nine showdown with Harrington, "some big mood swings probably for both of us."

Harrington, who became only the fourth player in history to win both the British Open and PGA Championship in the same year, seemed as if he'd cap a storybook season by capturing the season-ending Grand Slam title that just eluded him last year. But after opening a two-shot lead with a string of three birdies in four holes beginning at No. 8, Harrington then went 3 over par on holes 12-15 to relinquish the lead to Furyk.

"I was pretty much in there all day," Harrington explained. "Got a little bit in between clubs at the last maybe and tried to help it a bit. And you know, the poor shot that missed the green (on the 18th hole), it's a wide enough target, after you hit the fairway, you have most of the work done. I would say it was a slip-up on 18, and that was it, really."

Furyk, competing as a special invitee after Tiger Woods' knee injury forced this year's U.S. Open winner to sit out the remainder of the season, overcame a late bogey on the 17th hole that dropped him from the lead and hit a strong hybrid club on the event's final hole to set up a two-putt, tap-in birdie that forced the playoff. As they replayed the 18th hole in the playoff, he then hit a 3-wood for his second shot that settled less than eight feet away from the cup.

" [I] hit a nice, high cut right at it and I thought it was going to be really good," Furyk noted about the approach shot that set up his playoff win, "and I could hear from the reaction that it was probably inside five, 10 feet."

Furyk, one of the game's best putters, gave an earnest fist pump before the ball ever dropped in, knowing he had made a winning eagle putt.

Retief Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion who participated in the event under special invitation, started the day two shots out of the lead jointly held overnight by Furyk and Harrington. But Goosen, who had changed putters after a frustrating day on the greens on Tuesday, began by birdieing three of the first four holes and launching himself into a three-way tie for the lead after five holes.

But Goosen's hopes were dashed by a triple bogey on the par-4 12th hole, which saw him pull his tee shot far left and then a provisional drive into the left rough. And aside from that one errant tee shot, it was the flat stick that let the South African down once more.

"I drove the ball well. I like the course," Goosen explained. "But 68 putts in two rounds…"

Trevor Immelman, who started the day eight shots off the lead and was never in contention for the title during the final round, still provided the one of the shots of the day when his drive on the 357-yard, par-4 14th hole bounded onto the green and settled four feet from the cup. After making his putt for eagle, Immelman acknowledged the raucous applause from the gallery by extending his arms over his head in victory.

"It was the first great shot that I hit and I managed to hole the putt," Immelman said to laughter. "So one out of the 36 holes!"

As he celebrated his victory, Furyk said that his season, which wasn't what he considered a particularly strong one for him -- even disappointing in that he did not win a PGA Tour event -- finished on a great note with his participation on the victorious Ryder Cup team and his triumph here this week. He plans on playing only one more event (the Chevron World Challege in late December) before resuming his schedule next year, most likely in February.

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