Ballesteros captures British PGA in playoff


Seve Ballesteros tossed away a two-stroke lead, then won the $875,000 British PGA championship in Virginia Water, England, on the first playoff hole yesterday.

The Spaniard edged Scotsman Colin Montgomerie for his first victory this year on the European Tour. He collected $145,000, winning the PGA event for the second time.

Montgomerie got into the playoff with birdies on the last two holes to complete a final round of 67. He was in the clubhouse as Ballesteros put his tee shot on the 17th behind a tree on the way to a bogey-6 that dropped him a shot back.

The Spaniard also was a bit wild on the 72nd hole, but chipped out of trouble and made a birdie putt to force a playoff.

Ballesteros flew a 5-iron approach 200 yards to within three feet of the cup on the first playoff hole, effectively putting the title away when Montgomerie was unable to reach the green with his second shot. The Scot chipped from off the green to within six inches of the cup, but Ballesteros then made his short putt.

"When I went to the playoff hole, I was thinking I could not always lose," said Ballesteros, once one of the game's top players but recently plagued by a slump. "I told myself I had to win sometime and I did.

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