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Villegas has first title

September 08, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

For three years, Camilo Villegas managed to make a name for himself without winning.

He was the young Colombian with model good looks and chic clothing, limber enough to strike a pretzel-shaped pose on the green to read putts, earning him the nickname "Spider-Man." Trouble was, not many of those putts went in.

That changed Sunday at the BMW Championship at St. Louis.

Clinging to a one-shot lead on the back nine at Bellerive, Villegas saved par with a 12-foot putt, followed that with two birdie putts and finished off a two-under-par 68 for a wire-to-wire victory and his first PGA Tour title.

"It was a pretty good little stretch there that just tested my nerves and showed myself that I was good enough to stay out there," Villegas said.

Villegas pulled away from Jim Furyk, held off Anthony Kim and wound up winning by two shots over Dudley Hart, who birdied his final two holes for a 65. It was Hart's best finish in four years and it earned him two trips to Georgia -- the Tour Championship in two weeks and the Masters next April.

With one playoff event remaining, the FedEx Cup essentially is over. Vijay Singh, who won the first two events, tied for 44th and earned enough points that all he has to do is complete four rounds at the Tour Championship in two weeks to collect the $10-million payoff. But Singh refused to speak to NBC Sports and walked briskly past other media after finishing his round.

The 26-year-old Villegas finished at 15-under 265 and collected $1.26 million.

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Annika Sorenstam ended her pro career in Europe by finishing third in the Nykredit Masters at Helsingoer, Denmark. The 37-year-old Hall of Famer from Sweden closed with a two-under 71. She was her five shots behind winner Martina Eberl of Germany, who finished with a 14-under 205 total.

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France's Jean-Francois Lucquin won the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland, beating Northern Ireland's 19-year-old Rory McIlroy with a birdie on the second playoff hole. McIlroy led by four entering the last round.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Dalhausser, Rogers prevail

Top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, honored earlier in the weekend for their gold-medal victory at the Beijing Olympics, beat sixth-seeded John Hyden and Brad Keenan, 16-21, 21-19, 20-18, in the final of the AVP Crocs Tour Santa Barbara Open.

In women's final, fourth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan beat third-seeded Jennifer Boss and April Ross, 21-16, 24-22. The team of Boss and Ross had upset Beijing Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in the semifinals, 21-18, 15-21, 20-18. It was the first AVP Crocs Tour final that May-Treanor and Walsh had missed since April 2007.

MISCELLANY

Bennett wins L.A. Triathlon again

Australia's Greg Bennett took the Los Angeles Triathlon title for the third consecutive year.

Becky Lavelle, an Olympic alternate and the 2003 L.A. champion, won the women's division in which Americans took the first four spots.

Bennett was timed in 1 hour 46 minutes 4 seconds, with Andy Potts second at 1:46:47. Among the women, Lavelle finished in 1:59:46, followed by Mary Beth Ellis (2:01:12), Julie Swail Ertel (2:03:10) and Rebeccah Wassner (2:03:44).

"My goal was to make the most of the bike course," Bennett said. "I thought if I started the run segment at least 30 seconds in front, I could control the run."

Canadian-owned Rahy's Attorney won the $1-million Woodbine Mile at Toronto as favored Kip Deville faded to finish a distant fifth on the yielding turf. Ridden by Slade Callaghan, Rahy's Attorney paid $27.30, $8.70 and $9.30.

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