Mattiace climbs back, wins St. Jude Classic

Monday, July 1, 2002

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Len Mattiace won for the second time this year as he rallied from a seven-stroke deficit at the start of the final round by shooting a 7-under 64 Sunday to win the St. Jude Classic by a stroke.

Mattiace, who won the Nissan Open in February, joined Tiger Woods (three) and Phil Mickelson (two) as the only multiple winners on tour this year.

"I didn't look at the leaderboard. I didn't feel like I needed to," Mattiace said.

"I knew I just needed to keep making birdies, so why look? I looked on the 18th green and saw I had a two-shot lead at that time and just tried to two-putt."

Glen Hnatiuk, looking for his first victory, blew a four-stroke lead. Mattiace turned in a bogey-free seven-birdie round that included five on the back nine and three consecutive on Nos. 15-17 for an 18-under 266 total and the $684,000 winner's check.

Tim Petrovic had a chance to force a playoff with a 35-footer for birdie on No. 18, but he missed just left for a 68 and finished second.

"This is a step in the right direction for me," he said.

Notah Begay had a share of the lead for a hole but shot a 69 and finished third at 16 under. David Toms (68) was fourth, David Howser, who got into the tournament on a sponsor's exemption, shot a 64 and tied for fifth with Jim Carter (68), Tripp Isenhour (68) and Matt Kuchar (71).

SENIORS: Don Pooley made a 10-foot birdie putt on the fifth playoff hole to end an epic duel with Tom Watson and become the first qualifier to win the U.S. Senior Open at Owings Mills, Md.

More than five hours after the duo teed off as the final twosome of the afternoon, Pooley finally ended the drama -- and his 15-year winless drought on the PGA Tour.

After Watson's birdie-chip from the rough went wide of the hole, Pooley was poised to hit the potential winning putt before stepping back. He then returned to drain one of the most important shots of his career.

He qualified for the tournament by winning a playoff, and won it the same way. The $450,000 first-place check was Pooley's biggest since his last win on the tour, the 1987 Memorial.

LPGA: Annika Sorenstam's tuneup for next week's U.S. Women's Open was like most of her year on the LPGA Tour -- perfect.

Sorenstam shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 66 and cruised to a three-stroke victory in the ShopRite LPGA Classic after Kate Golden gave away the lead with bogeys on four of the last five holes at Galloway Township, Md.

The victory was the second in as many LPGA starts for Sorenstam, her fourth in six events and sixth in 12 events this year. Add in the Australian Masters earlier this year and the Swede is clearly the one to beat in the Women's Open at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.

"It's all going my way, so I am just going to enjoy it and be thankful," the 31-year-old said. "It's a great run and I love it."

PGA EUROPE: Soren Hansen made birdie on the fourth hole of a four-man playoff to win the Irish Open at Cork, Ireland.

Hansen, of Denmark, made a 10-foot putt on the 222-yard, par-3 17th to beat Darren Fichardt of South Africa and Niklas Fasth of Sweden.

Richard Bland of England was eliminated at the second extra hole.

The four were tied at 14-under 270 after regulation on the Fota Island course on Ireland's south coast.

Hansen and Fasth, who shared the lead after three rounds with Thomas Bjorn, shot 68s. Fichardt and Bland each shot 67s.

-- From wire reports

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