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Historic moments are par for the course at the St. Jude Classic, and the 2010 edition of the tournament proved no different.
Playing in the longest playoff since 1961, the world’s No. 3 golfer Lee Westwood sank a birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to beat out Robert Karlsson of Sweden and win the St. Jude Classic Presented by Smith & Nephew.
The stage was set for a three-way playoff between Westwood, Karlsson and Robert Garrigus when Garrigus, seeking his first PGA TOUR win, shot a triple-bogey 7 on the 18th hole, losing his three-stroke lead.
Garrigus’ woes continued on the first playoff hole—the 18th—where he bogeyed, eliminating him from the playoff. Westwood and Karlsson then battled for three holes before Westwood sank the winning birdie, earning his second career PGA TOUR victory.
But while Westwood took home the trophy, the real winners were the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the tournament’s beneficiary.
The week’s events included the Championship Pro-Am featuring such celebrity players as Javy Lopez, Andy Buckley, Houston Nutt, Phil Donahue and Tony Thomas, son of hospital founder Danny Thomas. Players from the PGA TOUR event also visited with St. Jude patients and their families during a special Golf-A-Round event at the hospital. The PGA TOUR Wives Association also hosted its annual picnic at Target House for St. Jude families.
This year, Smith & Nephew, a global medical technology corporation, signed on as presenting sponsor for the tournament. “We are extremely pleased that Smith & Nephew, a company that recognizes the positive impact the PGA TOUR’s Memphis tournament has had on the community, served as presenting sponsor of the St. Jude Classic,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem.
The tournament was founded in 1958 as the Memphis Open by seven local businessmen with an initial purse of $20,000. Since 1970, when St. Jude was named as the event’s sole charity, the tournament has raised more than $23.3 million for the hospital.