(AP) Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship in a three-hole playoff Sunday that did not include Dustin Johnson, who was penalized two strokes for grounding his club in a bunker on the last hole.
Kaymer captured his first major in a PGA Championship that might be remembered as much for a guy who tied for fifth.
Johnson had a one-shot lead playing the final hole at Whistling Straits when he drove into a tiny patch of sand where the gallery had been walking all week. Johnson grounded his club, unaware he was in a bunker. The gallery was packed in so tight that to Johnson, it looked like a piece of grass that had been trampled.
“Walking up there, seeing the shot, it never once crossed my mind that I was in a sand trap,” Johnson said. “It very unfortunate. The only worse thing that could have happened was if I had made the putt on that last hole.”
He missed the 7-foot par putt to seemingly slip into a three-man playoff with Kaymer and Bubba Watson. But the two-shot penalty turned his 71 into a 73, and instead of going to a playoff for redemption from his U.S. Open meltdown, he tied for fifth and headed home.
As Johnson was leaving the course, Kaymer was coming up clutch again.
The 25-year-old German holed a 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole in regulation for a 2-under 70 to join Watson (68) at 11-under 277. One shot behind in the playoff, Kaymer made another 15-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 17th, then watched Watson implode.
Watson went from the right rough into the water, then over the green into a bunker. His bunker shot hit the flag, and he tapped in for double bogey. Kaymer chipped out after seeing Watson go in the water, and he hit 7-iron to 15 feet for a two-putt bogey.
“I don’t realize what happened,” Kaymer said. “I just won my first major. I’ve got goose bumps just talking about it.”
It was the cruelest ending to a major since Roberto de Vicenzo signed for a higher score in the final round of the 1968 Masters that was won by Bob Goalby.
Watson was only disappointed for a few minutes until learning he had played his way onto the Ryder Cup team.
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