Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Runnerup stuns in American debut

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — David Lynn hadn't ever had a reason to play a pro tournament in the United States. Now, the Englishman has at least two more big ones after finishing second to Rory McIlroy in the PGA Championship.

Lynn shot his second straight 68 Sunday to finish at 5-under 283, eight shots behind McIlroy. The runnerup finish earned invitations to two of next year's majors, the Masters and the PGA Championship.

Lynn hadn't played in nearly a month, choosing to protect his spot in the top 100 to see if he might qualify for the year's final major. The call came last week and Lynn, 38, was on his way to The Ocean Course.

"It's a little bit surreal right now," Lynn said.

It must be for someone who had never competed in America.

"I've never been exempt to play in anything in America, so that's the reason why I've never been over here," he said. "This is a good start."

Lynn earned $865,000, more than double his season total of $407,636 in 14 events on the European Tour.

So how does a player whose biography includes the line, "Finished inside The European Tour's top 90 for a 12th consecutive season in 2011," make the PGA? He had just missed squeezing in as part of the world's top 100 several times and, ranked No. 98 this year, didn't want to slip out. So he shut down his game after the Scottish Open a month ago.

Lynn has one career victory on the European Tour at the Dutch Open in 2004.

WOODS WANES: It was another wobbly weekend for Tiger Woods at a major.

Woods shot par 72 — after finishing a third-round 74 earlier in the day — and was 11 strokes behind McIlroy. It was a disappointing slide for Woods, who was tied for the lead after two rounds but is still trying for his 15th major title and first since 2008.

"The thing is, to keep putting myself there," he said.

At Kiawah Island, his chance slipped away Saturday, when he bogeyed three of seven holes to start the third round before play was halted by rain.

"I came out with probably the wrong attitude (Saturday), and I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that's not how I play," Woods said. "I play full systems go, all out, intense, and that's how I won 14 of these things."

IMPEDIMENT: First-round leader Carl Pettersson suffered a setback on the first hole without even realizing it.

The Swede drove just inside a red hazard line. He checked to make sure his club could touch the grass without grounding the club. That was fine. However, PGA rules officials determined after scrutinizing a video replay that a small leaf moved as Pettersson took back the club. That violates Rule 13-4c — moving a loose impediment while in a hazard — and three holes later he was told it was a two-shot penalty, turning his par to double bogey.

He responded with back-to-back birdies and shot 72, finishing tied for third.

DIVOTS: McIlroy's win ended a streak of 16 different players winning the previous 16 majors. … Vijay Singh, who began Sunday tied for the lead with 27 holes to go, finished at 74 in the morning then shot 77 in the final round, falling to a tie for 36th at 291.

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