Tue, Sep 06, 2005 - Page 18 News List

Sergio Garcia wins European Masters

PRO GOLF TOUR The Spaniard shot a 3-under 68 in the final round to end at 14 under to win by a single stroke

AP , CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, SWITZERLAND

Sergio Garcia from Spain shoots for the the 18th hole in the final round of the European Masters in Crans Montana, Switzerland, Sunday. Garcia won by one stroke.

PHOTO: EPA

Sergio Garcia chipped in for birdie at the 16th hole Sunday in his 3-under 68 to win the European Masters by one stroke.

The 25-year-old Spaniard's 14-under total of 270 held off Sweden's Peter Gustafsson, who closed strongly with a 7-under 64 to take second.

Paul Casey hit a 66 to finish third, with defending champion Luke Donald and Garry Houston sharing fourth. Donald shot 69 and Houston 70.

Garcia later dedicated the title to a close friend who died Friday from lung cancer.

"That was a big hit on my head," Garcia said. "She was a lovely person, very caring."

It was a fine start to the Ryder Cup qualifying year for three of the European players from 2004: Garcia, Casey and Donald.

The fourth playing here, Miguel Angel Jimenez, tied for 13th.

Garcia, who whose only other win this year was in the Booz-Allen Classic on the US Tour, hit four birdies in five holes.

But it was the No.6-ranked Spaniard's 22-yard chip-in on the 16th that saw off Gustafsson, who holed five putts of between 10 and 20 feet.

"I found my putting stroke on the practice green yesterday," said Gustafsson. "Everything got better as the week went on."

Casey, gradually pulling out of a prolonged slump, was content.

"I made a lot of birdies, which is good. That was my goal," said Casey, who missed seven cuts starting with the Masters in April.

The 433rd-ranked Houston loved the final round with Garcia and Donald.

"True gentlemen. I've had a very special time," Houston said.

Pat Hurst, in a big boost for next weekend's Solheim Cup, won the LPGA tournament with a three-shot victory over defending champion Cristie Kerr.

Hurst ran off birdies on her first five holes, then overcame a shaky back nine on her way to a 2-under-par 70 to finish at 17 under. It was the fourth career victory for the 1995 US LPGA Tour rookie of the year.

Hurst was five shots up after 11 holes, but dropped three strokes on her next two holes with a double bogey and bogey. A par saved her from another bogey on No. 15 after she hit her second shot in a greenside pond.

Hurst, who will be playing in her third Solheim Cup, will be joined by Kerr as the Americans try to avenge their loss to the Europeans. The US holds a 5-3 edge in the series, but lost by the widest margin two years ago.

"I've got a lot of confidence going into next week and nothing is better than representing my country," Hurst said.

Hurst earned US$195,000 for her first win since 2000.

John Rollins holed out from a bunker for an eagle on the 18th hole, finishing a back-nine course record 28 and matching his career-best round of 63 for a share of the lead with four others after three rounds of the championship.

The round held up on a sunny, breezy afternoon on the TPC of Boston, leaving Rollins at 10-under 203, and tied with Billy Andrade, Jason Bohn, Carl Petterson and Olin Browne.

Hometown favorite Andrade started and finished with birdies and made 16 pars in between for a 69. Bohn, energized by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich he ate on the 14th hole, birdied his final four holes for a 67.

Petterson plodded along to a 68, and Olin Browne recovered from a tough start for a 70. The five-way tie for the lead going into the final round involved the most players on the PGA Tour since a five-way tie in 1983 at the Colonial.

Denmark's Iben Tinning shot a 7-under-par 65 to win the inaugural Nykredit Masters on home soil by two strokes.

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