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Korean Yang clinches first U.S. triumph

  • Story Highlights
  • South Korean YE Yang triumphs at Honda Classic in Florida by one stroke
  • First PGA triumph earns Yang an invitation to compete at Augusta Masters
  • Yang rises from 460th to 146 in world and qualified for this week's WGC-CA
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(CNN) -- South Korean YE Yang rocketed more than 300 places in the world rankings after capturing his first PGA Tour triumph at the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday.

Yang enjoys the moment after a victory that has earned him an invitation to compete at next month's Masters.

Yang enjoys the moment after a victory that has earned him an invitation to compete at next month's Masters.

The 37-year-old, who had not had a top 10 finish in his previous 28 events in the United States, shaded John Rollins by one shot and earned a place in next month's Masters at Augusta.

Yang, who rises from 460th to 146, also qualified for this week's WGC-CA Championship at Doral where Tiger Woods will continue his comeback from injury.

Leading by one going into the final day, Yang fired a 68 to end on nine-under 271 ahead of Rollins with Ben Crane another two shots away in third and Jeff Klauk fourth after a disappointing final round 71.

Yang joins KJ Choi as the only South Koreans to win on the PGA Tour.

"KJ Choi was the one who actually advised me to try and make it on the PGA Tour," Yang told PA Sport. "Having won, I can't find words to describe it. I knew there were risks of bogeys on the last four holes, but I was happy to save par at the last."

Yang picked up three shots on the front nine courtesy of three straight birdies from the third before he stretched his advantage with another at the 12th.

But after dropping a shot at 15, Rollins grabbed a birdie at the last to move within two of the leader who was in a greenside bunker at the 17th with his four shot lead down to two.

After a 10 foot par putt lipped out, Yang headed up the par five 18th just one clear. But the 37-year-old held his nerve to two putt the final green from 50 feet to seal the win.

Yang, meanwhile, is looking forward to another meeting with world No. 1 Woods who was in the field when he won the 2006 HSBC Champions in Shanghai. "It's an honor," he said.

Latest world top 20 rankings 1 Tiger Woods 9.16pts, 2 Sergio Garcia 7.57, 3 Phil Mickelson 7.13, 4 Geoff Ogilvy 6.33, 5 Padraig Harrington 6.05, 6 Vijay Singh 5.96, 7 Henrik Stenson 4.92, 8 Robert Karlsson 4.88, 9 Kenny Perry 4.76, 10 Camilo Villegas 4.74 11 Anthony Kim 4.49, 12 Lee Westwood 4.33, 13 Paul Casey 4.27, 14 Steve Stricker 4.24, 15 Ernie Els 4.19, 16 Rory McIlroy 3.98, 17 Jim Furyk 3.90, 18 Stewart Cink 3.78, 19 Adam Scott 3.65, 20 Mike Weir 3.65

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