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Smith Breaks Through at Buick

PGA

June 10, 2002|From Associated Press

HARRISON, N.Y. — Chris Smith wrapped up two long journeys with a breakthrough victory in the Buick Classic.

Smith, 33, playing the last of six consecutive tournaments, won his first PGA Tour title Sunday, shooting a one-under-par 71 for a two-stroke victory.

"It's an awesome feeling," said Smith, tears welling in his eyes as he walked off the 18th green. "I've struggled all year. My putter held me in there."

Smith had a 12-under 272 total on the Westchester Country Club's West Course. The five-time Buy.com Tour winner earned $630,000 and a tour exemption through 2004.

The long-hitting Smith, the ninth first-time winner this year, hit only four of 14 fairways, but still managed to reach 14 greens in regulation.

David Gossett, Pat Perez and Loren Roberts tied for second, with Perez shooting a 70, and Gossett and Roberts each shooting a 71. Stewart Cink (68) and Ian Leggatt (71) finished three strokes back.

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