Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, angry at being omitted from this year's Masters field, won the $942,000 Heineken Classic Sunday by one stroke over Ian Wossnam with a birdie at the final hole.
With strong winds sending scores soaring, Bjorn finished with a 2-over-par 74 to edge Woosnam, the 1996 champion and his playing partner. Woosnam shot a 76 despite a birdie at the final hole. Bjorn's 280 total was 8-under-par over the demanding Vines Resort course.
Bjorn said he was spurred on by being the only one of 24 players who played in last year's Ryder Cup not included in the Masters tournament in April.
"I've sent my message to Augusta," he said. "It's a shame and I'm a little disappointed. I wanted to show I can play and belong at the Masters."
Spaniard Jose Maria Olzabal (75), South African Ernie Els (71), Ireland's Padraig Harrington (66) and Englishman Peter Baker (71) tied for third at 282.
Bjorn knew early Sunday that the final round was going to be difficult.
"It was a very long day out there," he said. "I knew from when I woke up that it was going to be difficult because of the conditions and the fact I was playing against some of the best wind players."
"But I like this type of weather and this type of course. You have to hang in there and not shoot 25-under to win and that's when I'm at my best."
Holding a one-shot advantage heading into the final hole, Bjorn saw Woosnam rip his driver down the fairway to put himself into an ideal position. Bjorn then smashed his tee shot just past Woosnam's.
Woosnam followed with a 6-iron to 8 feet above the hole, setting up an eagle, before Bjorn again responded, placing his 6-iron shot within 12 feet.
Bjorn's eagle putt lipped out, leaving him with a tap-in for birdie and Woosnam in control of his destiny. Woosnam's bid to force a playoff was unsuccessful when his putt curled to the left of the cup.
"I drove bad all day and I putted worse," Woosnam said.
It was just reward for Bjorn, who missed the cut at last week's Johnnie Walker Classic in Phuket, Thailand, because of a severe case of food poisoning.
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