Woods Wins US Open on 19th Hole

World No. 1 blows big lead in 18-hole playoff, then wins in sudden death
By Chip Bayers,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2008 3:45 PM CDT
Tiger Woods tees off on the 12th hole during a playoff round for the US Open championship at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Monday, June 16, 2008 in San Diego.    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
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(Newser) – With a throbbing knee and a pounding heart, Tiger Woods made one last improbable escape Monday and won the U.S. Open in a 19-hole playoff over Rocco Mediate, his 14th career major and maybe the most amazing of them all. One shot behind on the 18th hole after a collapse no one saw coming, Woods birdied the 18th hole to force sudden death at Torrey Pines against a 45-year-old with a creaky back who simply wouldn't go away.

But that one extra hole was enough to doom Mediate, trying to become the oldest U.S. Open champion at 45 years, 6 months. He put his tee shot in the bunker at No. 7, knocked his approach off a cart path and against the bleachers, chipped some 18 feet past the hole and missed the par putt. On the verge of one of golf's greatest upsets, Mediate instead became another victim.