Par on first playoff hole lifts Germany over Scotland

Updated: December 10, 2006, 4:59 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. JAMES, Barbados -- Bernhard Langer acknowledges that Germany's first World Cup golf victory in 1990 was a surprise to many, himself included.

1. Germany, Langer/Siem (-16)*
2. Scotland, Montgomerie/Warren (-16)
3. Sweden, Pettersson/Stenson (-15)
4. South Africa, Sabbatini/Sterne (-14)
T-5. Spain, Jimenez/Fernandez (-13)
T-5. United States, Cink/Henry (-13)
T-5. Argentina, Cabrera/Romero (-13)
* -- won in playoff

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So was this one.

Trailing by five strokes entering the day, Langer and Marcel Siem shot a 5-under 66 in Sunday's alternate-shot format to grab a share of the lead, then made par on the first playoff hole to beat Scotland and claim Germany's second World Cup title.

"Every trophy's special, as you can guess," said Langer, who teamed with his 16-year-old son, Stefan, to win the Del Webb Father/Son Challenge last week in Orlando, Fla. "The last two years, I hadn't won a lot of trophies. It's nice to be on a little roll."

Langer finished it out with a short putt -- moments after Scotland's Colin Montgomerie pushed his par try from about 4 feet wide of the hole.

Sweden (72) finished third after finishing 15 under and missing the playoff when Carl Petterson's tricky downhill par putt from 5 feet lipped out at the final hole. South Africa (68) was fourth at 14 under, while Spain (69), Argentina (73) and the United States (69) all tied for fifth at 13 under.

The U.S. team of Stewart Cink and J.J. Henry ended their day with 11 straight pars, never really making a big run at the leaders.

"We had a great week," Cink said. "At least we know we could have won."

Defending champion Wales was in a four-way tie for eighth at 11 under with Australia, Mexico and Italy in the 24-nation field.

Germany had six birdies and one bogey on a soggy, windy day at Sandy Lane, where play was interrupted early for nearly two hours by morning rain. The Germans -- who split a $1.4 million first prize -- were three strokes off the lead during that break, yet found a way to pass six teams over their final 12 holes.

"It's just unbelievable," Siem said. "I love it. It's such a great feeling."

"An early Christmas," Langer said.

Montgomerie, the eight-time Ryder Cup player who helped Europe to a dominating win this year at The K Club, teamed with Marc Warren to shoot a 2-under 69 in the final round, which was played in the alternate-shot format.

Scotland, which has never won the World Cup -- and now has four second-place finishes -- made only one bogey all day, and that was the one in the playoff. Montgomerie pushed his tee shot at the par-3 18th left of the green, then missed the short putt after Warren played a chip to relatively close range.

"It's just one of those things," Warren said. "Tough putt. ... We needed to leave ourselves an easier putt. That's just the way it goes."

Montgomerie declined to speak with reporters afterward.

Argentina, Scotland, Sweden and Germany all held the outright lead at some point Sunday, yet never managed to build a significant cushion -- and the top positions on the leaderboard flip-flopped all day.

Scotland went up at the par-3 11th, when Warren got his tee shot within 10 feet and Montgomerie made the putt to put his team at 16 under, one shot clear of Germany and Argentina. But the Scots strung together seven straight pars from there, and things soon were knotted again.

Siem's 25-foot birdie at the par-3 16th gave the Germans their first lead, which they immediately gave back with a bogey -- their lone mistake -- at the par-4 17th. And Sweden used consecutive birdies at Nos. 12 and 13 to match the Germans and Scots at 16 under, then faltered at the final hole.

"It's always disappointing when you finish like that when you're in the hunt," Petterson said. "We had a chance and we had a good time."

Heavy rain began falling early in the day, stopped briefly as some of the final pairings teed off, then began pouring again with most teams still on the front nine, prompting a suspension that lasted 1 hour, 43 minutes.

Players were held on the course for about a half-hour before being brought into the clubhouse, as crews used squeegees to remove standing water from some fairways and greens. Strong winds ripped at least one umbrella to shreds, while turning others inward -- their frames unable to withstand the 45 mph gusts.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press