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Gore overcomes Sunday jinx; Sorenstam gets 7th win of '05

Jason Gore of Valencia, Calif., reacts to his lag putt from the fringe on the 18th hole Sunday.
Jason Gore of Valencia, Calif., reacts to his lag putt from the fringe on the 18th hole Sunday.
Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

FARMINGTON, Pa. — Jason Gore stood up to an excellent late-season field, and to the very pressure that wilted him three months ago at the U.S. Open. Most of all, he stood up to Sunday.

Gore, whose last-day unraveling already is part of Open lore, held off the 84 Lumber Classic field with big drives and steely nerves to win on the PGA Tour barely a month after being stuck in golf's minor leagues.

Gore's four-stroke lead with five holes to play was down to one over runner-up Carlos Franco by No. 18, but Gore landed his approach shot on the 468-yard par-4 on the lower fringe of the green. With a playoff looming if he didn't get up and down, Gore deftly lagged his putt from 91 1/2 feet to within 22 inches and tapped in for a final-round 2-under 70 and the Tour victory he once thought might never come.

His 14-under 274 was three shots better than third-place finisher Ben Crane (67).

Gore, who won $792,000 never finished higher than 18th during two previous stays on the PGA Tour, in 2001 and 2003, and had won only $40,399 on that tour this year. Now, he joins Paul Stankowski (1996) as the only winners on the developmental Nationwide and PGA tours in the same year.

Vijay Singh was tied for seventh with a 7-under 281 and Phil Mickelson finished three shots further back.

JOHN Q. HAMMONS CLASSIC: At Broken Arrow, Okla., Annika Sorenstam closed with a 2-over 73 and withstood a late charge from rookie Paula Creamer to win the John Q. Hammons Classic for the third time in four years.

Sorenstam made 15 straight pars to start the final round and overcame bogeys on two of the last three holes to finish one shot ahead of Creamer at 5-under 208 for her seventh LPGA Tour win of the season. She also won a European Tour event in Sweden this year and has 64 career victories.

The 19-year-old Creamer, who paced the United States to a 15 1/2-12 1/2 victory over Sorenstam and the European team in last week's Solheim Cup, started the final round five strokes off the lead.

Sweden's Maria Hjorth (75) and American Diana D'Alessio (69) tied for third at 2 under. France's Karine Icher closed with a 75 and was the only other player under par for the tournament, finishing at 1 under.

CONSTELLATION ENERGY CLASSIC: At Hunt Valley, Md., Bob Gilder won his first Champions Tour event in more than two years, shooting a 5-under-par 67 to capture the Constellation Energy Classic by four strokes over Morris Hatalsky.

Gilder never trailed after opening with a 64 on Friday. He chipped in from 40 feet for par on the final hole to finish at 18-under 198, tying the tournament record set by Christy O'Connor in 1999.

Gilder earned $255,000, more than half the sum he made over his first 22 tournaments this year. Before this weekend, he finished in the top 10 only twice in 2005. It was his eighth career victory on the Champions Tour, the first since the 2003 Emerald Coast Classic.

Hatalsky shot a 69. His birdie on the 18th hole enabled him to break a tie with Curtis Strange and earn $149,600 for second place. Strange shot a 69 for a 203 total to take third, his best finish since joining the tour this year. D.A. Weibring (71) came in fourth, one shot ahead of Tom Watson (71) and John Bland (68).

WORLD MATCH PLAY: At Virginia Water, England, U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell won the World Match Play Championship, defeating Paul McGinley 2 and 1 in the final by capitalizing on his opponent's errors in the closing holes. Campbell wrapped up the match at Wentworth with a chip to 1 foot of the cup on the 35th green. He won the 33rd and 34th holes when McGinley bogeyed after poor shots. Campbell earned $1.8 million, the largest prize in golf. The New Zealander also advanced to the top of the European Order of Merit ahead of Retief Goosen.