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Glover Uses a Fast Finish for His First Victory

NEWSWIRE

October 24, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Lucas Glover earned his first PGA Tour victory Sunday with birdies on the last two holes, making a 40-foot putt from the fringe and a 35-foot bunker shot on the last hole to win the Funai Classic at Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Glover, who closed with a seven-under-par 65, was among 10 players who had a chance to win over the final four holes. When he went from the left rough into the front bunker on No. 18, it looked as though his best chance would be getting into a playoff.

Then came a dramatic finish, typical at this tournament.

His bunker shot from the sand went high in the air, landed about five feet short of the cup and rolled in for birdie.

"I was trying to get it close and hope for the best," Glover said. "And then the stinker went in."

Glover finished at 23-under 265 and had to wait to make sure that held up. He was on the practice range, trying to stay loose as workers tore down the grandstands behind him.

He stopped long enough to look at Tom Pernice Jr., who had a 15-foot birdie putt to force a playoff. Pernice's shoulders slumped when he struck the putt, which never had a chance.

"I didn't hit a great putt," said Pernice, who closed with a 69 but made only one birdie over the last 14 holes. "What are you going to do? Lucas played a great round. My hat's off to him."

Glover, 25, became the third player in the last four years to make the Funai Classic his first PGA Tour victory. He earned $792,000 and moved to 28th on the money list.

Justin Rose was on the verge of winning his first PGA Tour title when he hit a six-iron within eight feet of the 15th hole and then birdied for a one-shot lead at 23 under.

But he found the rough on the 16th and made bogey, then pulled his tee shot on the 18th into a hazard and dropped another shot for a 68 and a tie for third, two shots behind.

Jay Haas won his second Champions Tour title in three weeks, shooting a second consecutive five-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Tom Purtzer at the SBC Championship in San Antonio.

Haas finished at 14-under 199 and won for the second time in his career at Oak Hills Country Club, site of his Texas Open victory in 1993, one of nine PGA Tour wins.

Purtzer, who began the final round tied for 20th, had eight birdies, including four in a row starting at No. 3, and closed with a 63 to reach 12 under.

Geoff Ogilvy, unable to make a birdie putt on the back nine, made an eight-footer on the 17th that gave him a share of the lead.

But no sooner had he walked to the 18th tee, he looked up the 18th fairway and saw Glover spraying sand and raising his fist when the bunker shot fell for birdie.

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WINTER SPORTS

Maier Beats Miller

and Passes Tomba

Hermann Maier edged Bode Miller to win the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden, Austria, and overtake Alberto Tomba for second place on the World Cup victory list.

Maier's 51st World Cup victory moved him ahead of Tomba. Ingemar Stenmark leads with 86, all in slalom and giant slalom.

It was Maier's first World Cup giant slalom victory since he nearly lost a leg in a motorcycle accident four years ago.

The former Olympic and world champion covered the two runs in 2 minutes 17.60 seconds, moving from fifth place after the first leg. Miller, the reigning overall champion, won the first leg and finished 0.07 of a second behind the Austrian star.

Miller, of Franconia, N.H., had been leading until halfway down the course, but he lost a full second on the bottom section after the sun went behind the clouds for the last four races.

"A little change in the light can make a giant difference in the time," Miller said. "I had great tactics, but today I made a couple of big mistakes."

Marit Bjoergen won for the second time in two days, helping Norway dominate a World Cup cross-country skiing event at Duesseldorf, Germany.

Bjoergen, who won Saturday's 800-meter freestyle sprint, and Hilde G. Pedersen won the women's team freestyle sprint in 10 minutes 5.7 seconds. Norway's Ella Gjomle and Guro Strom Solli finished second, four seconds back in the 4,800-meter race.

Norway's Trond Iversen and Johan Kjolstad won the men's nine-kilometer team freestyle sprint in 18:19.5, edging Sweden's Thobias Fredriksson and Bjorn Lind by 0.1 of a second.

Chad Hedrick broke a nearly 6-year-old track record, and Jennifer Rodriguez won her third race at the U.S. long-track speedskating World Cup qualifying event at West Allis, Wis.

Hedrick won the 5,000 meter race in 6 minutes 24.5 seconds. He took nearly two seconds off the Pettit National Ice Center mark of 6:26.14 that Gianni Romme of the Netherlands set on Feb. 5, 2000.

Rodriguez, who won two bronze medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, won the 3,000 in 4:18.51. On Saturday, she won races at 500 and 1,500 meters.

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TENNIS

Nadal Ties Federer

With Madrid Victory

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal won the Madrid Masters in front of a cheering home crowd by defeating Ivan Ljubicic, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

It was Nadal's 11th title this year, matching top-ranked Roger Federer's record.

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