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Gore claims first PGA Tour victory at 84 Lumber Classic

Monday, September 19, 2005

Jason Gore stood up to an excellent late-season field, and to the very pressure that wilted him three months ago at the U.S. Open. Most of all, he stood up to Sunday.

Gore held off the 84 Lumber Classic field in Farmington, Pa., with big drives and steely nerves to win on the PGA Tour barely a month after being stuck in golf's minor leagues.

Gore's four-stroke lead with five holes to play was down to one over runner-up Carlos Franco by No. 18, but Gore landed his approach shot on the 468-yard par-4 on the lower fringe of the green. With a playoff looming if he didn't get up and down, Gore deftly lagged his putt from 91 1/2 feet to within 22 inches and tapped in for a final-round 2-under 70 and the Tour victory he once thought might never come.

"I hit the best putt of my life," he said. "What made it easier is the putt was so hard -- I had to go up and down two elephants and over the windmill. It worked out, luckily."

His 14-under 274 was three shots better than third-place finisher Ben Crane (67).

"It's pretty incredible," said Gore, who played with a sponsor's exemption. "Around May-ish I was wondering if I could get formula for my child, if I was going to make a house payment, and now look. They just handed me a check for $792,000. It's amazing where a little perseverance and grit and maybe a little ignorance can take you."

Gore never finished higher than 18th during two previous stays on the PGA Tour, in 2001 and 2003, and had won only $40,399 on that tour this year. Now, he joins Paul Stankowski (1996) as the only winners on the developmental Nationwide and PGA tours in the same year.

LPGA Tour

Annika Sorenstam closed with a 2-over 73 Sunday and withstood a late charge from rookie Paula Creamer to win the John Q. Hammons Classic in Broken Arrow, Okla., for the second straight year and third time in four years.

Sorenstam made 15 straight pars to start the final round and overcame bogeys on two of the last three holes to finish one shot ahead of Creamer at 5-under 208 for her seventh LPGA Tour win of the season.

Champions Tour

Bob Gilder won his first Champions Tour event in more than two years, shooting a 5-under-par 67 Sunday to capture the Constellation Energy Classic in Hunt Valley, Md., by four strokes over Morris Hatalsky.

Gilder never trailed after opening with a 64 on Friday. He chipped in from 40 feet for par on the final hole to finish at 18-under 198, tying the tournament record set by Christy O'Connor in 1999.

World Match Play Championship

U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell won the World Match Play Championship, defeating Paul McGinley 2 and 1 in the final at Virginia Water, England.

Campbell wrapped up the match with a chip to 1 foot of the cup on the 35th green. He earned $1.8 million, the largest prize in golf.

-- From wire reports


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