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Choi beats Toms in TPC playoff

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- In a playoff for the first time on the PGA Tour, K.J. Choi won The Players Championship Sunday, a tournament many call the fifth major. Choi won't forget the way it ended -- and neither will David Toms.

Toms went from narrowly missing an 18-foot birdie putt for the win on the island green 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass to missing a 31/2-foot comeback putt for par, handing Choi the biggest win of his career.

Minutes earlier, American Toms, 44, hit his best shot of the week from a divot in the 18th fairway and made an 18-foot birdie putt -- only the fourth birdie on that hole in the final round -- that got him into a playoff.

On the playoff hole, South Korean Choi, 40, hit a beautiful lag to just inside 3 feet that he tapped in for his eighth career PGA Tour win. He became the fourth consecutive international player to win the PGA Tour's premier tournament.

Toms said his short putt was uphill, into the grain, and had to be hit solidly. "I kind of hit it on the toe and didn't get it rolling, and when I looked up, it was left," he said. "It was just a bad putt. No excuses, no spike marks, no ball marks, no nothing. Maybe a lot of pressure. But other than that, there was no excuse."

Choi and Toms both closed with 2-under-par 70s to finish the four rounds at 13-under 275.

"I'm disappointed," Toms said. "But the way I played 18 shows that I still can do it when I need to. I've got to work on my putting a little bit. I could have put some distance between myself and my competitors."

Graeme McDowell, tied for the lead after the third round concluded Sunday morning, hit four shots into the water and closed with a 79. Paul Goydos, 46, finished with a 69 to take third, two shots back. -- AP

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