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U.S. blitz in singles reclaims Solheim Cup

The United States won eight of 10 singles matches Sunday, including surprising wins from Kelly Robbins and Tammie Green, to reclaim the Solheim Cup from Europe.

"After having our noses rubbed in it for two years, it's a great feeling to have the Cup back on our side," Patty Sheehan said.

The matches were tied 5-5 entering singles play, and five of those matches were tied or close through the front nine, making it appear the Cup would be decided by the final match between Donna Andrews and Liselotte Neumann of Sweden.

But one by one, the Americans took control.

Robbins earned a 4 and 2 victory over Lora Fairclough of England and Green's 35-foot birdie putt on No. 16 clinched her 3 and 2 win over Annika Sorenstam of Sweden.

Robbins and Green, newcomers to the women's version of the Ryder Cup, had lost their alternate-shot and four-ball matches earlier and seemed to be a burden to the Americans.

"I knew my game would come around a little bit and just played real steady today," said the 25-year-old Robbins, who was team captain JoAnne Carner's wild-card pick as the 10th player on the U.S. team.

The victory was especially sweet for Meg Mallon, whose 1-up victory over Pam Wright of Scotland clinched the U.S. victory. She lost the deciding match in 1992.

The host country has won all three Solheim Cups. The United States won 11{-4{ in Orlando and Europe captured the Cup 11{-6{ in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Other U.S. winners included Beth Daniel, Dottie Mochrie, Brandie Burton, Sherri Steinhauer and Andrews. Helen Alfredsson of Sweden and Alison Nicholas of England were the lone winners Sunday for Europe.

Lietzke flies on eagle

LAS VEGAS _ With one magnificent swing of his 2-iron, veteran Bruce Lietzke dashed the hopes of golf's new breed and set up a one-shot victory in the $1.5-million Las Vegas Invitational.

He sent his 232-yard shot on the 16th hole to within 3 feet of the cup, leading to an eagle that provided him with his 13th victory of a 20-year career. Lietzke closed with a 7-under 65 on the TPC at Summerlin. He had a 332 total, a distant 27-under par in this five-day, 90-hole event.

His eagle vaulted him over hometown hero Robert Gamez, who birdied the last five holes, and turned back such late challengers as Phil Mickelson and rookies Jim Furyk and Paul Stankowski.

Lietzke collected $270,000, more than doubling his earnings for the year to $483,926. He moved from 84th on the season's money-winning list to a spot in the top 31 and thus became eligible for next week's season-ending, $3-million Tour Championship in San Francisco.

"I usually play all my good golf in the spring, take the summer off, then come back in the fall. My game usually suffers from the break, and I don't have a lot of enthusiasm in the fall," he said.

"But I got on a little roll last week (a fourth-place finish in the Texas Open) in San Antonio, and this was just a carry-over," he said.

Fourth-round leader Furyk shot 70 and finished fourth at 336. Mickelson, who scored 10 birdies in a round of 63, tied for third at 335 with Billy Andrade, who shot 67.

Kiefer wins first

LOS ANGELES _ Jack Kiefer, who traded in his baseball glove for a driver and wedge, shot a final-round 63 and won the Ralph's Senior Classic by one stroke over record-setting Dale Douglass.

In his first win as a tour professional, Kiefer rolled in a string of long putts to edge Douglass, whose closing 61 set a course record on the par-71 Rancho Park layout. Kiefer's three-round total of 197 earned him $112,500.

Drafted by the Detroit Tigers, Kiefer, a pitcher, quit baseball in 1961 and took up golf shortly thereafter. He never played on the PGA tour, and joined the senior circuit in 1990.

On the front nine, where he shot a 30, Kiefer made putts of 30, 20 and 25 feet.

"I was watching that scoreboard when I was just hanging at 14 under," Kiefer said. "I was watching Dale. I'm glad he ran out of holes."

Douglas, who won the tournament in a playoff with Jim Dent last year, broke the course record of 62 set by Raymond Floyd and Dave Eichelberger. His 61 tied the all-time Senior PGA Tour mark, held jointly by Lee Elder (1985) and Jim Colbert (1991).

Tampa's Dent, the second-round leader, three-putted both 11 and 15 for costly par 5s, and fell out of contention. He shot 71 and finished tied for fourth at 202.

Elsewhere

Bridgestone Open: American Brian Watts shook off a double-bogey at the 11th and won in Chiba, Japan, by three strokes. He shot par 72 in the final round for a 72-hole total of 14-under-par 274.

Czech Open: Sweden's Per-Ulrik Johansson shot 5-under 66 and won by three strokes, finishing at 11-under 237.

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