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Johnson wins first PGA Tour title

Monday, April 5, 2004

DULUTH, Ga. -- Zach Johnson coasted through 10 holes before the trouble started. After getting five birdies earlier, simply making par was difficult.

Four bogeys in five holes, and suddenly, his five-shot lead was down to two.

"I was just trying to make pars," he said. "There is a danger in that, but on this golf course, par is a good score."

The PGA Tour rookie righted himself in time and held on to win the BellSouth Classic on Sunday despite that rough stretch on the back nine. He shot an even-par 72 to edge Mark Hensby by a stroke.

"It was a roller coaster," Johnson said after his first victory on tour. "I don't even know what I shot."

He finished at 13-under 275 on the TPC at Sugarloaf. Hensby closed with a 67, Scott Hend (71) followed at 11 under, and Ireland's Padraig Harrington (72) was another stroke back.

Johnson, the player of the year on the developmental Nationwide Tour last season, appeared solidly in control after a birdie on the par-5 10th gave him a five-shot lead. At that point, he had made all 55 of his putts in the tournament from inside of 9 feet.

But he three-putted for bogey on the next two holes, then made back-to-back bogeys on 14 and 15.

"If you're in the lead by a shot or four or five shots, you've still got an advantage," Johnson said. "I just tried not to put pressure on myself."

Good advice. He steadied himself with a routine pars at 16 and 17, then capped his victory with another at 18.

LPGA TourLOS ANGELES -- Annika Sorenstam won her 50th LPGA Tour title, birdieing three of the final five holes for a 3-under 69 and a three-stroke victory in the Office Depot Championship.

The LPGA Hall of Famer, also the tournament winner in 2001 and 2003 and the runner-up in 2002, had a 9-under 207 total. Ashli Bunch shot a 65 to tie for second with Meg Mallon (70).

Sorenstam became the second fastest to 50 wins on the LPGA Tour. She reached the milestone in 10 years, three months and 19 days. Mickey Wright won her 50th when she had been on the tour for eight years, eight months and 21 days.

Sorenstam, 13th last week in the Kraft Nabisco, won for the third time in four starts this year. She began by winning a non-tour event in Australia, then won the tour stop in Arizona two weeks ago.

Sorenstam led 53 times with 18 holes to go, and has won 34 of those.

European PGA TourPORTIMAO, Portugal -- Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez won his second European tour title of the year, shooting a 5-under 67 for a two-stroke victory in the Algarve Open.

Jimenez, who finished at 16-under 272, moved into the lead in the European Ryder Cup standings. He also won the Johnnie Walker Classic in February.

Australia's Terry Price matched the course record with a 64 to finish second.

-- From wire reports


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