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B.C. Open win helps Sluman erase doubts

SHARE B.C. Open win helps Sluman erase doubts

ENDICOTT, N.Y. — Jeff Sluman had every reason to think he was cursed while making his lonely ride back to the 18th tee for a playoff.

Sluman had just squandered a two-stroke lead on the final hole of regulation at the B.C. Open to force sudden death on Sunday. A week earlier, he tied for 10th at the Greater Milwaukee Open despite being the third-round leader. And, to boot, he had never won a playoff in six previous times over his 19-year PGA Tour career.

Jinxed?

Not this time. Sluman erased all of those doubts when he sank an 8-foot putt for birdie on the second playoff hole to beat Australian rookie Paul Gow at the En-Joie Golf Club.

"Any time you win out here is a very special occasion. And to win under all of these little circumstances fills you with confidence," Sluman said. "Especially coming on the heels of not playing well with the lead last week, I guess you can say it's doubly satisfying."

And no one had to remind him of his playoff record, something that wasn't far from his mind.

"I've lost them in one-man, two-man, six-man playoffs, just about everything. I wanted to get off the 'schneid' and I did," said Sluman, who lost in a six-man playoff in the Nissan Open in February. "It makes me feel pretty good."

Sluman's fortunes turned courtesy of a bad bounce after he and Gow parred the first playoff hole.

Gow's next tee shot hit a tree, bounced across the 18th fairway and rolled into a concrete, water-filled ditch. With half his ball visible, Gow managed to chip it out of the ditch and into the middle of the fairway, but made a bogey when he missed a 12-foot putt to save par.

Sluman collected $360,000 for his victory, his fifth on the PGA Tour and first since the 1999 Sony Open in Hawaii. The win was extra special as Endicott is a three-hour drive from where Sluman grew up in Rochester.

Sluman and Gow, who began the day as co-leaders at 16 under, shot 6-under-par 66s to finish at 22-under 266. Gow, who had never finished better than a tie for 16th this season, earned $216,000.

Jonathan Kaye shot a 67 to finish third at 269. Jay Haas (68) was fourth, four shots back, and Steve Pate (66) was fifth at 271.

Ty Tryon, the 17-year-old entering his junior year of high school in Orlando, Fla., finished with his best day since shooting 7 under to claim a share of the first-round lead. Coming off two even-par efforts, Tryon shot a 70 to finish at 9-under 279. He tied for 37th, the lowest finish by an amateur in tournament history.

LPGA BIG APPLE: Rosie Jones birdied the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Laura Diaz in the LPGA Big Apple Classic, a tournament she had come close to winning three times.

It was the first time Americans finished 1-2 in an LPGA tournament since the 2000 Betsy King Classic, a span of 28 events. Americans held six of the seven top spots.

Jones closed with a 1-under 70 for a 12-under 272 total on the Wykagyl Country Club course. She has two victories this year and 12th overall win.

SBC SENIOR OPEN: Dana Quigley won the SBC Senior Open by five strokes, completing the final 1 1/2 holes Monday after darkness suspended play the day before.

Quigley closed with a 3-under-par 69 for a 200 total in winning his first title of the year. Jay Sigel, the runner-up, had a 70 for a 205.

"I put in a full hour of practice in like I was going to play 18 holes," Quigley said.

But he needed to play less than two holes Monday. Play had been suspended Sunday while Quigley and Sigel were putting on the 17th green. Four other players also finished their rounds Monday.

This was Quigley's fifth title in five seasons on the senior tour.