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Golf Roundup : Murphy Ends 11-Year Drought, Wins Canadian

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

Bob Murphy wondered if he would ever win again, right up until he did.

Murphy shot a final-round 71 to score a three-stroke victory over Greg Norman Sunday in the Canadian Open at Toronto, ending an 11-year winless stretch.

Murphy, 43, stood on the 18th green needing only to five-putt from 12 feet for the victory.

“I thought I might be able to handle it,” Murphy said. “Then I got very nervous, all tingly, real uptight. I wanted to break up those kind of feelings, so I thought, ‘This one is for Momma and the baby.’

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“My wife (Gail) and daughter (16-year-old Kimberly) have stuck with me. They’ve traveled with me all over the world, convinced I was going to win every week. This is a very happy occasion. I wish they could have been with me to enjoy it.”

Murphy scored the fifth victory of his 19-year PGA Tour career with a 280 total, eight strokes under par.

It was Murphy’s first victory since the 1975 Inverrary tournament and earned him $108,000--the biggest check of his career.

Norman had a 73 and a 283 total to earn $64,800, giving him $547,779 for the year--breaking the record of $542,321 set by Curtis Strange last year.

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Mike Donald (73) tied for third at 284 with Andy Bean (72) and rookie Davis Love III (74).

Sandra Palmer sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a three-way playoff to win the LPGA Mayflower tournament at Indianapolis and become the 13th LPGA player to pass the $1 million career mark in earnings.

Palmer, a 22-year veteran, won her first tournament in four years by outlasting Jan Stephenson and Chris Johnson. It was the 21st career victory for Palmer.

“It has been rough,” Palmer said. “This is the ultimate but there have been a lot of heartaches and frustrations and wondering if you should do something else. I’ve had some really horrible, horrible stretches.”

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The leaders completed regulation play tied at eight-under par 280. Palmer and Stephenson, co-leaders after round three, each had even-par 72s to remain deadlocked. Johnson birdied the final two holes for a 68.

Dale Douglass struggled to a two-over par 73, but it was enough to win the U.S. Senior Open by one shot over Gary Player at Columbus, Ohio.

Douglass finished with a 72-hole score of five-under par 279, while Player, who shot a final round 70, was at 280.

Harold Henning (70) finished third at 281, while Peter Thomson (69) and Bruce Crampton (68) were next at 283.

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Douglass began the day four shots ahead of Player but led by two after nine holes. Player birdied the 11th hole to pull to within one stroke and had a chance to pull even when Douglass found a trap on the 15th.

Player, however, was distracted by an automobile accident behind the green as he prepared to putt. He three-putted for a bogey 5, while Douglass got his par out of the sand.

Player bogeyed the 16th when he found the sand, but birdied No. 17. Douglass kept it interesting when his first two shots found the sand on 18. He made a bogey, but Player could manage only a par.


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