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Steinhauer Defends British Open Title

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From Associated Press

Helped by a friendly kick from a greenside bank, Sherri Steinhauer avoided a playoff and won the Women’s British Open for the second year in a row on Sunday at Woburn, England.

The 36-year-old American appeared headed for a playoff with Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam when she pitched her third shot from 115 yards toward the 18th green.

The ball landed on a bank at the top of a bunker at the front right of the green, then went speeding toward the flag. It ended six feet from the hole and Steinhauer punched the air in celebration after holing the birdie putt.

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Steinhauer, who won last year on her first outing at Royal Lytham, triumphed again on her first appearance at Woburn after that putt gave her a level par 73 for the final round and a nine-under total of 283.

She became the first player since Debbie Massey in 1980-81 to win the title two years in a row and next year returns as two-time defending champion to play Royal Birkdale, also for the first time.

“This has to be one of the greatest rounds of golf I have played, given the circumstances. This was one of the most difficult days of the tour, and to come out winning is just an incredible feeling,” Steinhauer said.

The result meant that Sorenstam wound up runner-up for the third time after her 72 gave her a total of 284.

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Christy O’Connor shot a four-under 68 to win the Senior PGA’s Foremost Insurance Championship at Ada, Mich., by four strokes, finishing the 54-hole tournament at 11-under 205.

Jim Thorpe, John Jacobs and 1998 champion George Archer tied for second.

Final Scores

Winners after Sunday’s final round of play: (Complete scores, page 11:)

WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN

At Woburn, England--par 73,

final 72-hole scores

283 (-9)--$160,000

Sherri Steinhauer 71-71-68-73

284 (-8)--$96,000

Annika Sorenstam 69-71-72-72

285 (-7)--$50,666

Helen Dobson 71-72-72-70

Cindy Flom 71-74-69-71

Fiona Pike 70-70-71-74

Next: LPGA Classic, Friday-Sunday, North Beavercreek Country Club, North Beavercreek, Ohio:

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SENIOR FOREMOST

INSURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP

At Ada, Mich.--par 72, final 56-hole scores

205 (-11)--$150,000

Christy O’Connor 69-68-68

209 (-7)--$73,333

Jim Thorpe 69-72-68

John Jacobs 70-69-70

George Archer 69-70-70

Next: BankBoston Classic, Thursday-Sunday, Nashawtuc Country Club, Concord, Mass.

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