Maruyama survives to win Nelson Classic

Monday, May 13, 2002

IRVING, Texas -- Shigeki Maruyama survived another Sunday charge by Tiger Woods and an unlikely one by rookie Ben Crane to win the Byron Nelson Classic, the second straight week an Asian has won on the PGA Tour.

Maruyama was all smiles at the end of a cloudy afternoon, closing with a 2-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Crane.

"There's so many good players," he said. "In a way, I was under so much pressure."

Maruyama, sticking out his tongue in mock relief after each of his great escapes, thrust his arms in the air when he finished and bowed before tournament host Byron Nelson.

"Nobody ever played golf as a professional who smiles as much as Shigeki does," Nelson said. "I'm extremely happy to have him as our champion."

A week after K.J. Choi became the first South Korean winner in tour history at New Orleans, Maruyama finished at 14-under 266 and became the first Asian with multiple tour victories. He also won last year in the Greater Milwaukee Open to become the first Japanese player to win on the mainland.

This victory was much more impressive, coming against a field that boasted eight of the top 10 players. He earned $864,000, and a free pass into the U.S. Open.

Woods made three straight birdies down the stretch and closed with a 65 to finish at 10-under 270, which at the time put him three strokes out of the lead.

Aerus Championship

FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Annika Sorenstam matched the course record with an 8-under 64 and won the Aerus Electrolux USA Championship when Pat Hurst hit into the water and bogeyed No. 18.

Sorenstam finished with a tournament-record 17-under 271 total, and earned $120,000.

TD Waterhouse

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bruce Lietzke won the TD Waterhouse Championship when rain washed out of the final round.

Lietzke, who earned $240,000, shot an 8-under 64 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead over Larry Nelson. Lietzke finished at 11-under 133.

-- From wire reports

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