Doyle sneaks away with title

Monday, August 1, 2005

No one was even talking about Allen Doyle having a chance to win the U.S. Senior Open. That was precisely the way he wanted it.

Doyle shattered the U.S. Senior Open final-round record Sunday, closing with an 8-under 63 to win his third Champions Tour major while others tossed away their chances.

"No one said a word to me, no one thought I had a chance," Doyle said. "That's the way it's been for me from Day 1. It doesn't bother me one bit. ... It happens. You just have to put a low score up and make it happen."

Doyle had a bogey-free round that included eight birdies, and he managed to avoid the trouble that knocked third-round co-leaders Craig Stadler and Loren Roberts, as well as D.A. Weibring and others out of contention. His final-round 63, which beat the course record by a stroke, was the lowest by a Senior Open winner.

Doyle beat the previous final-round score by four shots and finished at 10-under 274, one shot ahead of Roberts and Weibring. The victory, worth $470,000, was his 10th on the Champions Tour.

Stadler led by three shots with 10 holes to play, but imploded and finished four shots behind Doyle. Roberts was in control until making a double-bogey at No. 11. Weibring was on top by a shot with two holes left, but bogeyed both.

Greg Norman and Tom Watson, among others, had prime opportunities to steal the championship, but failed to make putts on the undulating and increasingly slick greens at NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio.

Norman shot a 69 and was at 276, but didn't have a birdie on the back nine.

"I just couldn't get the job done the last five or six holes," he said.

Watson, who shared fifth place at 277 with Wayne Levi (68), also had difficulty mastering the dramatic dips and rises in the greens. Watson, coming off a win at the Senior British Open, shot a final-round 71, never really threatening the multitude of leaders.

PGA Tour

Vijay Singh followed up three spectacular rounds with an average one and it was enough to hold off a surging Tiger Woods and win the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich.

Singh closed with a final-round 70 for a four-stroke victory and a 24-under 264 total.

Woods, who began the day eight shots back, tied for second after vaulting into contention with six birdies and an eagle in an nine-hole stretch and finishing with a 6-under 66.

Zach Johnson (69) tied Woods for second at 20 under. Robert Allenby (65) finished 18 under, alone in fourth.

Singh is the first three-time champion at the Buick Open, a tournament that started in 1958. He's also the first repeat champion since Tony Lema in 1965. The 42-year-old Fijian has won four events this year and 28 in his career. Singh trails only Woods' 44 victories and leads Phil Mickelson by two among active PGA Tour players.

LPGA Tour

Jeong Jang shot a 3-under 69 to win the Women's British Open by four strokes, while Annika Sorenstam's quest for her third major title of the year ended with a fifth-place finish.

The South Korean, who led after each round at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England, was six strokes ahead at the turn on the way to the first victory of her six-year LPGA career.

Jang finished at 16-under 272, while Sophie Gustafson, the 2000 winner before the championship became a major, shot a 67 and was at 12-under 276.

Sorenstam, who began the final round tied for second at 8 under, shot a 71 to finish 9-under 279. Her day ended with a double-bogey on the 18th hole.

Michelle Wie, the 15-year-old amateur playing her final tournament before returning to high school in Hawaii, birdied the last two holes for a 69 and finished at 10-under 278 and in a tie for third place.

European PGA Tour

Australia's Mark Hensby made a par on the second playoff hole to beat Henrik Stenson and win the Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm, Sweden, for his first European Tour victory.

Both players finished regulation play at 22-under 262 on the soggy Kungsangen King's Course after final-round 65s. Marc Cayeux, a European Tour rookie from Zimbabwe, also closed with a 65 and tied for third with Bradley Dredge at 265. Dredge closed with a 70.

The 34-year-old Hensby won for the fifth time as a pro. His only victory in the United States came at last year's John Deere Classic.

The playoff was the 12th on the European Tour this year, the most in a season.

-- From wire reports

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