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Golf Roundup : Australian Greg Norman Wins European Open

September 15, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Australian Greg Norman earned the biggest prize in European golf Sunday when he won the European Open championship in a sudden-death playoff with Britain's Ken Brown at Sunningdale, England.

Norman, the British Open champion, beat Brown with a birdie on the first extra hole after the two had tied with 11-under-par 269 totals for the regulation 72 holes.

In addition to the first prize of $52,500, Norman received a $75,000 bonus for winning the British Open and European Open titles. Norman, leading money winner on the U.S. circuit, has earned $900,000 this year. Norman, 31, who finished with a 66, has earned $227,500 in two visits to Britain this season.

Brown had shared the third-round lead with British Ryder Cup player Howard Clark, one shot ahead of Norman and defending champion Bernhard Langer of West Germany.

Brown, who carded a closing 67, lost his chance for victory when he left a seven-foot birdie putt short on the first sudden-death hole.

Langer closed with a 68 and finished third at 271.

At Sutton, Mass., Gene Sauers, caught on the 72nd hole by Blaine McCallister, sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff to win the $450,000 Bank of Boston tournament.

Sauers, a 24-year-old three-time Georgia Open champion, earned his first victory in three years on the PGA tour after he took his only bogey on the last hole of regulation. The win was worth $81,000.

McCallister, who won $48,000, had a chance to win his first PGA tournament but missed a short putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole.

Both players finished with 72-hole scores of 274.

At Inzai, Japan, Australia's Graham Marsh beat Japan's Isao Aoki on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the $387,000 Suntory International Open, his first victory this season.

Aoki forced the playoff by shooting a final-round, three-under-par 69 on the 7,143-yard, par-72 Narashino Country Club course. Marsh shot a 72, leaving the two tied at 13-under-par 275 for the regulation 72 holes.

In the playoff, Marsh parred the 598-yard, par-5 18th hole, while Aoki's third shot went into a bunker. He needed two putts for a bogey.

At Richmond, Va., Chi Chi Rodriguez fired a six-under-par 66 for a tournament-record, 54-hole total of 202 and cruised to a three-shot victory in the $300,000 United Virginia Bank-PGA Seniors' Tournament.

Rodriguez, whose $45,000 first-prize money boosted his season earnings to a tour-leading $318,464, started the day with a one-shot lead, led at one time by five strokes and never saw the margin drop below two as he finished the event 14 under par.

Don January blitzed the 6,644-yard Hermitage Country Club course with a 66 that equaled the round by Rodriguez and overtook South African Gary Player for second place with a 205 total. Player had a 69 for a 206.

At Kent, Wash., Judy Dickinson shot a tournament-record, 14-under-par 274 en route to a four-stroke victory in the $200,000 LPGA Safeco tournament at the Meridian Valley Country Club.

Dickinson, who carded a five-under 67 in the final round, bettered by two strokes the record set by Patty Sheehan in 1982.

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