Sunday, December 9, 2007

Golf News: Merill Lynch Shootout - Woody snaches win from Norman

Greg Norman went close but remains with just one win from 19 editions of his annual post-season tournament after first-timer Woody Austin drained a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

Host Norman and young teammate Bubba Watson had pulled level with leaders Austin and Mark Calcavecchia on the 17th hole in the scramble format final round of the 12-team, $A3.21 million Merill Lynch Shootout.

But they were unable to make their birdie putts from 25 feet on the 18th after Austin nailed his longer effort to heap the pressure on and they finished a shot behind in second place.

The birdie gave Austin and Calcavecchia a final-round 9-under 63 and a 29-under 187 total and they shared $US700,000 ($A801,400) in prize money.

Norman's final putt ended up centimetres right of the hole while Watson, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, saw his putt from the same spot run out of gas and break left in front of the hole.

"Am I disappointed for myself? Yeah. But more for Bubba," Norman said. "I would love for him to get a victory. To get a taste of it."

Two-time major winner Norman, 52, was trying to win for the first time since the 2001 Skins Game - another post-season exhibition event.

"Of course I'm disappointed," Norman said. "We all play to win the championship, no matter what the championship is. We put ourselves in position..."

Read the complete golf news story

Greg Norman was my favorite golfer as a kid and I am obviously disappointed that he, once again, came so close with no cigar. However that putt on the final hole was worthy of a win!

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