Janzen swoops as Langer stumbles

GOLF

Lee Janzen, the former US Open champion, recorded a one-under-par 71 to clinch a one-stroke victory over Bernhard Langer in the Players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida on Sunday.

Janzen finished with a five- under-par aggregate of 283 to take the $540,000 (£350,000) winner's cheque, as the overnight joint-leader, Langer, who sank a birdie at the final hole to earn second place outright, shot a one-over 73.

Corey Pavin scored 74 and finished in joint third place with Gene Sauers (68) and Payne Stewart (72).

"I consider this a major championship," Janzen said. "A very hard golf course, the best field in the world, everyone would love to say that they had won their tour's championship."

Janzen began the round in third, one stroke behind the joint leaders, Langer and Pavin, after moving into contention with a third-round 69 when only two players managed to score below 70.

While Janzen played the course in virtual textbook fashion with three birdies, two bogeys and several good scrambles for par, Langer was uncharacteristically erratic.

The German had just two pars on the front nine, and his total for the day was six pars, six birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey. "It was very up and down, like a yo-yo," he admitted. "I didn't hit many fairways, and that's what you have to do. I don't ever remember such an up and down round."

But Langer's disappointment could be an omen for the forthcoming Masters championship - two years ago he finished runner-up to Nick Price in the same event, before picking up his second Green Jacket in Augusta.

Results, Sporting Digest, page 31

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