VIRGINIA WATER, England May 27 Denmark's Anders
Hansen won the PGA Championship for the second time in his
career by beating Briton Justin Rose at the first hole of a
sudden-death playoff on Sunday.
Hansen, the 2002 champion, punched the air in delight after
rolling in an 18-foot putt for a birdie four on the 18th at a
Rose (71) and Hansen (69) were tied on eight-under 280 at
the end of the regulation 72 holes.
"I am really happy and in a way a little surprised," the
36-year-old Dane told the BBC after landing the first prize of
725,000 euros ($973,700).
"I missed the cut the last two years so coming here I didn't
know quite what to expect but yesterday the greens became a
little bit moist. When they do that they roll a lot better and
that helped me."
The only time Hansen has won in Europe has been at the PGA.
Among the rewards for winning the tour's flagship event are a
five-year exemption on the circuit, a three-year exemption into
the British Open and a place in next month's U.S. Open.
The Dane has played mainly in the United States this year
and this was only his second appearance in Europe.
"The travelling has been hard for me," said Hansen. "It is
tough to be away from my two kids because I miss them a lot."
Hansen said he was committed to his U.S. schedule this
season but much prefers to compete at home.
"I want to play in Europe," he said. "I am more comfortable
Rose produced a brilliant shot to make the playoff, hitting
a 109-yard wedge to 18 inches at the last to set up a birdie
"I guess it is disappointing to come that close to winning a
tournament and the playoff was really weird, it was over so
quickly," said the 26-year-old Englishman. "Anders rolled in the
putt and I missed mine (from 15 feet).
"But all in all it is hard not to be pleased about playing
so well at home and playing so well at a tournament I really
love and that I watched so many times as a kid."
One stroke adrift in joint third place were Fiji's Vijay
Singh (66) and Richard Sterne of South Africa (74). Argentine
Angel Cabrera, who won this event two years ago, tied for fifth
with Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain.
Britons Ross Fisher (84) and Paul Broadhurst (80), the joint
overnight leaders, could not come to terms with the persistent
rain that fell on the West Course in Surrey.
"I am going to be sitting at home tonight thinking about
throwing away such a big tournament," said the 26-year-old
Fisher after finishing on 290. "No matter how hard I tried, it
wasn't quite happening for me."