(Reuters) - U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole to beat Bubba Watson in the four-man PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda on Wednesday.
Ten days after a blowout singles win over Watson on the final day of the Ryder Cup, German Kaymer had to work much harder to overcome his American rival for a second time.
He erased a two-stroke deficit in the final two holes of regulation before triumphing in breezy conditions at Port Royal Golf Course in the elite 36-hole event which brings together the winners of the year’s four majors.
In the sudden-death playoff at the par-four 18th, both players hit nice approach shots, but Kaymer’s finished further from the hole, so he putted first and made no mistake, before Masters champion Watson missed from inside five feet.
“It was quite an advantage that I had the similar putt earlier (in regulation), just a little bit longer, but pretty much the same line and I knew it didn’t break as much as I thought, so that helped me a lot,” Kaymer told reporters.
Watson was incredulous his short birdie putt in the playoff missed, speculating that wind had blown it off course.
“I thought I hit a great putt, stroked it well,” he told reporters. “I‘m guessing wind bounce, whatever you want to call it. There’s no way that ball should go that way, unless it’s wind forced. So, it was Martin’s time and not my time.”
Earlier, Kaymer (71) and Masters champion Watson (69) finished on six-under 136, eight strokes in front of Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and nine clear of American Jim Furyk.
After McIlroy won two majors this year, the British Open and PGA Championship, Furyk was invited as the fourth player.
Watson reeled off three consecutive birdies from the 14th to go two strokes with two holes to play, only to bogey the par-five 17th after finding the water.
He was on the wrong end of a two-shot swing when Kaymer birdied the same hole to tie it up with one hole to play.
They both parred the last, which necessitated a playoff.
The event was completed two days before the expected arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo, which on Wednesday strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane about 640 miles (1,025 km) south-southwest of Bermuda.
Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue