World number one golfer Tiger Woods has won his third U.S. Open title, surviving a long playoff with fellow American Rocco Mediate on the challenging Torrey Pines course near San Diego, California.
Both men tied after regulation play on Sunday at one under-par 283. That set up an 18-hole playoff on Monday. Woods built a three-shot lead early before Mediate slowly caught up and was able to grab a one-shot advantage heading into the final hole. But Mediate was not able to seal the win and Woods, still battling to recover from knee surgery, regained a shot with a birdie (one under par on a hole).
So for just the third time since the U.S. Open playoff format was introduced in 1954, both players went to sudden death. Mediate hit into a fairway sand trap and then a spectator grandstand, while Woods stayed down the middle of the course to win on the 19th extra hole.
All of Woods' 14 major titles have been won after he held at least a share of the lead after three rounds. He also becomes the first player in the history of the sport to win seven titles on the same golf course. Woods needs just four more major titles to tie the all-time record held by Jack Nicklaus.
At age 45, Mediate was trying to become the oldest U.S. Open champion. With the runner-up finish, Mediate will jump 111 places in the world rankings to 47th in the world.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.