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Gore Feels Some Pressure but Handles It This Time

From Associated Press

Jason Gore stood up to an excellent late-season field, and to the very pressure that wilted him three months ago at the U.S. Open. Most of all, he stood up to Sunday in Farmington, Pa.

Gore, whose last-day unraveling already is part of Open lore, held off the 84 Lumber Classic field to win on the PGA Tour barely a month after being stuck in golf’s minor leagues.

Gore’s four-stroke lead with five holes to play was down to one over runner-up Carlos Franco by No. 18, but Gore landed his approach shot on the 468-yard par-four on the lower fringe of the green. With a playoff looming if he didn’t get up and down, Gore lagged his putt from 91 1/2 feet to within 22 inches and tapped in for a final-round two-under 70 and the Tour victory he once thought might never come in a field that included Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.

“I hit the best putt of my life,” he said. “What made it easier is the putt was so hard -- I had to go up and down two elephants and over the windmill. It worked out, luckily.”

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His 14-under 274 was three shots better than third-place finisher Ben Crane (67).

“It’s pretty incredible,” said Gore, who played with a sponsor’s exemption. “Around May-ish I was wondering if I could get formula for my child, if I was going to make a house payment, and now look. They just handed me a check for $792,000. It’s amazing where a little perseverance and grit and maybe a little ignorance can take you.”

Gore never finished higher than 18th during two previous stays on the PGA Tour, in 2001 and 2003, and had won only $40,399 on that tour this year. Now, he joins Paul Stankowski (1996) as the only winners on the developmental Nationwide and PGA tours in the same year.

Gore never trailed on a Sunday that was nothing like the U.S. Open, when he had a 14-over 84 playing in the final group.

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David Toms took some driving range swings at the 84 Lumber Classic and said he’s ready to go for this week’s Presidents Cup matches despite his heart-related medical scare.

Toms was rushed off the course in an ambulance Thursday with a rapid heartbeat. He was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital in critical condition, but doctors brought the problem in the upper chamber of his heart under control through medication.

Toms needs corrective surgery that could last as long as six hours, but will delay it until after the U.S. vs. International team matches in Gainesville, Va.

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Annika Sorenstam closed with a two-over 73 and withstood a late charge from rookie Paula Creamer to win the John Q. Hammons Classic in Broken Arrow, Okla., for the second straight year and third time in four years.

Sorenstam overcame bogeys on two of the last three holes to finish one shot ahead of Creamer at five-under 208 for her seventh LPGA Tour win of the season. Creamer started the final round five strokes off the lead.

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Bob Gilder won his first Champions Tour event in more than two years, shooting a five-under-par 67 to capture the Constellation Energy Classic by four strokes over Morris Hatalsky in Hunt Valley, Md. Gilder finished at 18-under 198, tying the tournament record set by Christy O’Connor in 1999.

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U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell won the World Match Play Championship, defeating Paul McGinley 2 and 1 in the final in Virginia Water, England, to earn $1.8 million, the largest prize in golf.


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