Wed, Sep 07, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Olin Browne clinches first US PGA victory since 1999

AP , NORTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Olin Browne closed with a 4-under 67 on Monday and emerged from a five-man pack to win the Deutsche Bank Classic for his first US PGA Tour victory since 1999.

Browne built a three-shot advantage on the back nine. And with Jason Bohn closing fast, he holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to restore his cushion.

Bohn needed an eagle on the par-5 18th to force a playoff, but his fairway metal from the right rough sailed to the right of the green, and his chip never had a chance.

Bohn settled for a birdie and a 68 to finish one shot behind.

"It's been so long," Browne said. "I'm speechless."

Browne finished at 14-under 270 and earned US$990,000, more than he had made in any of his 11 previous years on the PGA Tour. More importantly, it gave the 46-year-old Browne a two-year exemption on tour.

He has been scrapping by the last two years after heartbreak endings to his season kept him out of the top 125 on the money list. Browne had to write letters to tournament directors asking for exemptions, or getting into the lower-ranked events that had room in the field.

"The amount of times you play is irrelevant," he said earlier in the week. "It's how you play when you get in."

Bohn, who won the BC Open in July, also showed his mettle, bouncing back from consecutive bogeys by giving himself a chance on the last hole.

Reno-Tahoe Open champion Vaughn Taylor shot a 68 to finish third at 10-under 274. Charles Howell III had a 67 and joined three others who finished another shot behind.

Tiger Woods, the first-round leader, was never a factor over the final three days. He shot 71 to tie for 40th.

The five-way tie for the lead going into the last round was the biggest since the 1983 Colonial, and with 16 others within two shots of the lead, it seemed certain to come down to the final holes.

Hometown favorite Billy Andrade fell apart with a double bogey when he hit into the water on No. 6 and had a 41 on the front nine.

John Rollins shot 40 on the front nine to also disappear. Carl Petterson slowly tumbled from contention, unable to make birdies as Brown and Bohn surged ahead.

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