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McKnight Bests Garcia to Reach Amateur Final

From Associated Press

Tom McKnight, who gave up his professional golf ambitions about when Sergio Garcia was born, beat the 18-year-old British Amateur champion Saturday to reach the final of the U.S. Amateur championship at Rochester, N.Y.

McKnight, 44, who operates a family-owned chain of gas stations and convenience stores in Virginia, had four birdies to oust the Spaniard, 3 and 1, in match play at Oak Hill.

“What a day. Unbelievable,” McKnight said quietly. “It’s hard to describe the emotions that I felt out there.

“This is what you dream about from day one.”

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In today’s 36-hole final, he will meet Hank Kuehne, 22, a recovering alcoholic who routed Bill Lunde of Henderson, Nev., 6 and 5. Kuehne’s brother and caddie, Trip, lost to Tiger Woods in the 1994 U.S. Amateur final.

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John Cook looked at home on the golf course where he learned the game, shooting an eight-under-par 62. But David Duval maintained the lead by a shot over Cook through three rounds of the NEC World Series of Golf at Akron, Ohio.

Duval chipped in from 30 feet for a birdie on the 17th on his way to a second consecutive 66 that put him at nine-under 201.

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Cook started the day five strokes behind co-leaders Duval, Woods and Craig Parry.

A three-putt bogey on the 17th green held him to 62, which matched the lowest round in a PGA event this year.

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Payne Stewart shot a six-under 65 and took a one-stroke lead over Brandel Chamblee after three rounds of the Greater Vancouver Open at Surrey, Canada.

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Stewart, who opened the tournament with a 64, has a 15-under 198 total.

Chamblee, who began the third round tied for the lead with Chris DiMarco, had a 68 on the 6,893-yard Northview Golf and Country Club course.

DiMarco shot a 72 and was tied with Brent Geiberger, Tom Pernice Jr., Harrison Frazar and Larry Rinker at 203.

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Defending champion Hale Irwin tied the course record with an eight-under 64 and moved into a tie for the 36-hole lead of the BankBoston Classic with Joe Inman at Concord, Mass.

Irwin and Inman, who shot a 66, were at 11-under 133, one shot ahead of 60-year-old Al Geiberger, who shot a second successive 67.

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Tammie Green, six months pregnant, holed out from 126 yards on her final hole and Michelle Redman shot a career-low 63 to create a five-way logjam for the lead in $700,000 State Farm Rail Classic at Springfield, Ill.

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Also tied at 11-under 133 were Martha Nause (66), Vickie Odegard (68) and Cindy McCurdy, 66.


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