LOUISVILLE - Tiger Woods was not the only player who celebrated yesterday at Valhalla Golf Club in the 82nd PGA Championship.
Notah Begay III, who played one year with Woods at Stanford and remains one of his closest friends, made birdies on the last two holes to finish with a 2-under-par 70 and a four-round total of 10-under 278.
It helped Begay finish eighth and, more importantly, earned him an automatic spot on this year's Presidents Cup team. Begay, whose victories this year in Memphis and Hartford helped him move into contention for the team, jumped from 11th to eighth on the points list.
As Begay walked up to the scoring trailer unsure of what his status was in regard to the team, his mother and his sister, Carol, got his attention.
"You made it! You made it!" announced Laura Ancera, Begay's mother.
Said Begay, who finished in the top 10 in a major for the first time: "It's been in the back of my mind all year. It's an indication that you're playing well and consistent. I just tried to put myself in position, playing percentage golf. Making the team is truly an honor."
Begay, who earlier this year became the first full-blooded Native American to play in the Masters, will also earn that distinction in the Presidents Cup competition, scheduled in October for the Robert Trent Jones course in Gaineville, Va.
Kirk Triplett and Stewart Cink gained the last two spots. It is expected that Loren Roberts, who was bumped out of the top 10 by Begay, will be picked by non-playing team captain Ken Venturi when the two wild-card selections are announced today.
Franklin Langham's first experience at a major championship came at the 1986 Masters, when, as an 18-year-old, he helped operate a scoreboard by the 16th green at Augusta National.
Langham, who grew up in Augusta, Ga., got his first taste of being in the heat of a major while playing in yesterday's final round. After closing to within a stroke of the leaders, he finished seventh at 11-under-par 271 with a 3-under-par 69.
Not bad for someone playing in his first major championship.
"When it's all said and done, I'll be happy about it," said Langham, who earned $157,000.
A bogey at 18 cost Langham a few dollars, but he would try for an eagle if given another chance.
"That last shot does not cost you a tournament," he said. "It's a whole year's worth of getting here. The year is still going and I'm going to try to win one before the year is over. I've really been playing well."
Now in his third year back since playing the four of the previous five years, Langham has finished second twice, at Doral and in Milwaukee last month, as well as finishing tied for second at the Kemper Open in May.
It was a good tournament for the Senior Tour players at the PGA. After the legendary Jack Nicklaus set the tone by outplaying Tiger Woods early in their second-round pairing and nearly making the cut, Tom Watson and Tom Kite finished things off on the weekend.
"The first day was pretty ugly, but I turned it around," said Watson, whose 4-under-par 68 yesterday left him at 9-under-par 279.
Watson, 50, wound up tied for ninth with Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, Fred Funk and Scott Dunlap. It was Watson's first top 10 finish in a major since he finished fourth in the 1997 Masters - also won by Woods.
Kite, also 50, finished two strokes back at 7-under 281.
Woods' errant drive on the par-5 18th hole in the playoff was almost caught by a sycamore tree, not a fan.
The drive was a hook that disappeared from the television cameras for a few moments. It appeared a fan batted it and chased it down a hill.
"That was all gravity and Mother Nature," said hole marshal Tim Gilpin. Everybody was around it, but nobody touched it."
Fan interference could have forced Woods to drop his ball into an even worse place.
The Associated Press contributed to this report