Tue, Jul 01, 2003 - Page 20 News List

David Toms wins St. Jude Classic with 7-under 64

AP , MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

David Toms shot a 7-under 64 Sunday and won the St. Jude Classic by three strokes for his second victory in eight weeks.

Now he can't wait for the British Open at Royal St. George's, a course he knows nothing about.

"I think there's some blind tee shots from what I've heard," Toms said. "It's tough to get the ball in the fairway, and they said the wind will pull it. It seems like a typical British Open. I like it. I enjoy playing golf over there.

"No matter how good you're playing, you never know what to expect just because the weather conditions can turn."

Toms knows that too well because he went from a share of the first-round lead to 83rd at Muirfield last year. But he is ready to try again after shooting a 7-under 64 Sunday to win the St. Jude Classic, his second victory in eight weeks.

"You go over there and prepare and play the best you can, and you never know what you're going to get," Toms said.

First, Toms will go to the Western Open this week near Chicago, then take a week off. He proved himself ready for a challenge Sunday, making birdie on four consecutive holes after a bogey on No. 1 that saw him hit a tree with his drive.

On a nearly perfect day where 42 of 78 players were under par and five were tied atop the leaderboard early, Toms had an eagle, eight birdies and three bogeys for a 20-under 264 total as he held off South Africa's Nick Price by three strokes.

Toms, who won the Wachovia Championship in May, picked up his ninth PGA Tour victory in a town where his swing instructor lives and he visits for duck hunting. The US$810,000 winner's check moved him to 10th on the career money list with more than US$16 million.

"I knew if I played my game, I was going to be there in the end," Toms said. "I felt good about my game even after I bogeyed the first hole. That's what I'm doing a lot better now than I did early in my career. I wouldn't say I'm the guy to beat, but I definitely like my chances."

Price tied his career-low round with a 62 to finish at 267.

Bob Estes, the 2001 winner, shot a 65 to match Fredrik Jacobson (67) and Richard Johnson (69) at 268. Lee Janzen, tied atop the leaderboard with five holes left, finished with a 68 to tie for sixth with Bob Crane (67) at 269.

Price bogeyed No. 18 when he put his second shot into the water short of the green. He was hoping for a birdie in case of a playoff, but was happy with his finish as he takes off the next two weeks to rest up for the British Open.

"I'm not going to cry over spilled milk. I had a great weekend, and I'm so looking forward to the British Open, especially the way I played this weekend," said Price.

Toms got himself going with a 3m putt for birdie on No. 2. He two-putted for birdie after hitting a 3-iron over the green on the par-5 3rd, rolled in from 3.6m on No. 4 and used a 3-wood to chip to .6m on No. 5, where he made for his fourth straight birdie.

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