Singh forces a play-off with DiMarco and Leonard

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The Independent Online

Of all the courses Pete Dye has designed, which include Sawgrass and Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits has proved itself at the 86th USPGA Championship to be possibly the most spectacularly distracting to date.

Of all the courses Pete Dye has designed, which include Sawgrass and Kiawah Island, Whistling Straits has proved itself at the 86th USPGA Championship possibly the most spectacularly distracting to date. "What he is trying to do is divert your attention," said Justin Leonard.

"He wants you looking at everything but the fairway or the green or where you're supposed to hit it. He is very good at that. This is probably the most dramatic of his courses I've played, and if you've played a single Dye course, you know they are pretty dramatic."

Leonard, the Open champion at Royal Troon in 1997, was attempting to prove he could not be distracted but was involved in a three-way play-off over three holes with Vijay Singh and Chris DiMarco.

Leonard failed to get up and down from below a slope in front of the final green as he bogeyed three of the last five holes. It was a day when Whistling Straits played more in keeping its fearsome reputation.

Singh, who began with a one-stroke lead and had won on each of the previous seven occasions he had led after 54 holes, shot a closing 76 to Leonard's 75. DiMarco, with a 71, was one of the few players on the leaderboard to break par as the trio tied on eight under.

Ernie Els three-putted on the last to fall one stroke outside the play-off and lose his chance to overtake Tiger Woods as the world No 1. Els finished with a 73 and shared fourth place with Chris Riley, who also three-putted on the final green.

Phil Mickelson, with a 74, also bogeyed the last as he tied for sixth with Paul McGinley and KJ Choi. Both Mickelson and Els finished the season with four top-ten finishes in the majors.

DiMarco's surge meant he played his way on to the American Ryder Cup team but Leonard, who clinched the home victory at Brookline in 1999, had to win to ensure his place at Oakland Hills next month. Hal Sutton names his two wild cards picks today.

Leonard birdied the third to draw level and then the Fijian took a double bogey at the fourth. The previous seven times Singh had led after 54 holes he had won but now Leonard took a two-stroke lead at the turn. DiMarco birdied the 11th and 12th to draw level after Leonard dropped a shot at the 10th by going over the green. Poor drives by DiMarco at the 15th and 16th dropped him back to eight under par. Leonard birdied the 13th from 14 feet but dropped a shot at the next and then failed to convert a good chance at the 15th before another shot went at the 16th.

Darren Clarke, the first-day leader after a 65, continued the run of daily aberrations that followed. After aiming at the wrong television tower on Friday and having a shank on Saturday, Clarke attempted to drive the green at the short par-four sixth but had to take an unplayable which cost a double bogey.

Bogeys at three of the last four holes meant he was not even low Irishman. McGinley, who holed the winning putt at The Belfry two years ago, closed with a 69 for six under and another health batch of Ryder Cup points. "I'm chuffed to play so well in a major," McGinley said. "Everybody knows what's at stake. I want to be in the team and there is a lot of pressure but it's a good pressure to have. I've got a lot of work still to do."

Brian Davis finished two shots further back but as much as he hopes to make the European team, the Londoner thinks Colin Montgomerie should be selected. "He is someone for the younger guys to lean on," Davis said.

Whistling Straits scores

(US unless stated)

Final round leaderboard

(three-way play-off)

280

C DiMarco 68 70 71 71

V Singh (Fiji) 67 68 69 76,

J Leonard 66 69 70 75

281

E Els (SA) 66 70 72 73

C Riley 69 70 69 73

282

P McGinley (Irl) 69 74 70 69

K J Choi (S Kor) 68 71 73 70

283

R Allenby (Aus) 71 70 72 70

B Crane 70 74 69 70

A Scott (Aus) 71 71 69 72

284

A Oberholser 73 71 70 70

B Faxon 71 71 70 72

B Davis (GB) 70 71 69 74

285

S Appleby (Aus) 68 75 72 70

S Cink 73 70 70 72

J-F Remesy (Fr) 72 71 70 72

D Toms 72 72 69 72

F Jacobson (Swe) 72 70 70 73

M Gogel 71 71 69 74

L Roberts 68 72 70 75

286

T Byrum 72 73 71 70

S Micheel 77 68 70 71

C Campbell 73 70 71 72

J L Lewis 73 69 72 72

T Woods 75 69 69 73

G Ogilvy (Aus) 68 73 71 74

L Donald (GB) 67 73 71 75

287

M A Jimenez (Sp) 76 65 75 71

C Sullivan 72 71 73 71

C Franco (Par) 69 75 72 71

B Van Pelt 74 71 70 72

C Howell III 70 71 72 74

N O'Hern (Aus) 73 71 68 75

288

T Hamilton 72 73 75 68

B Quigley 74 69 73 72

T Immelman (SA) 75 69 72 72

I Poulter (GB) 73 72 70 73

Z Johnson 75 70 69 74

B Baird 67 69 75 77

S Flesch 73 72 67 76

J Haas 68 72 71 77

289

T Armour 72 71 74 72

N Fasth (Swe) 74 70 73 72

D Howell (GB) 72 72 70 75

P Harrington (Irl) 68 71 72 78

290

P Sheehan 70 71 75 74

N Faldo (GB) 72 70 74 74

J Ogilvie 75 68 70 77

M Campbell (NZ) 71 73 69 77

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