Geoff Ogilvy never imagined himself winning the Match Play Championship. He was too busy looking for the exit.
Ogilvy had already removed his cap when Nick O'Hern stood over a 5-foot putt to win on the 20th hole. That was Thursday, a lifetime ago. Then came Mike Weir, 4-up with four holes to play in the third round but unable to put away the ultimate survivor of an event that requires nothing less.
Ten times, Ogilvy was one putt from going home.
"No one made one," he said, "which is pretty fortunate."
Ogilvy ended his long, improbable journey Sunday at La Costa Resort by making short work of Davis Love, pulling away with an outstanding 4-iron into 6 feet for a conceded eagle and not giving Love much of a chance to capture the World Golf Championship.
"Unbelievable," Ogilvy said after his 3-and-2 victory. "It's such a hard tournament to believe you're going to keep going. I got lucky the first four days, and the last two games I played very well."
Ogilvy easily could have been on his way home after 17 holes in the first round, and wound up playing 129 holes for the event - breaking Jeff Maggert's record by one hole - and walking off with the $1.3-million prize.
Along the way, he rolled through a Grand Slam list of players in his path: Michael Campbell (U.S. Open), Weir (Masters), Tom Lehman (British Open) and Love (PGA Championship).
For Love, it was another opportunity he let slip away.
He lost to Tiger Woods two years ago 3 and 2 and was soundly beaten by Woods in the semifinals in 2000. But even with Woods out in the third round, Love couldn't produce timely shots.
The biggest blow came at the ninth in the afternoon. He had won two holes to cut the lead to 1-up for Ogilvy, and the Aussie was in trouble short of the green. Love's 6-iron sailed into the gallery, and he stomped his foot and clenched his teeth, knowing he might have lost an opening to square the match.
"I'm aiming 20 feet left of the pin and I hit it 20 feet right of the green," Love said. "That was the one that killed me because I had a little bit of momentum."
PGA TOUR: Kirk Triplett started the final round with five straight birdies and had four in a row on the back nine, shooting 9-under 63 to win the Chrysler Classic of Tucson in Arizona, his third career tour victory.
Jerry Kelly shot 65 to finish a stroke back. Duffy Waldorf, the second- and third-round leader, shot 72 to match Bubba Watson (70) and Heath Slocum (68) at 19 under.
NATIONWIDE: Jim Rutledge won the New Zealand PGA Championship in Christchurch, overcoming a nine-stroke deficit with 8-under 64 (279). Brett Rumford (72) and Jarrod Lyle (74) finished one shot back.