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McCumber hits jackpot on putt

Published Oct. 8, 2005

Mark McCumber dropped a massive birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday to beat Fuzzy Zoeller in the season-ending, $3-million Tour Championship.

McCumber's 45-50 foot strike followed an even longer effort by Zoeller on essentially the same line.

"That helped enormously," McCumber said. "Not only did it give me the line, he got it so close I knew he was in in four and that made me go for it."

His dramatic winner came on the same hole, the 18th, that he three-putted just moments earlier for the bogey that set up the playoff.

The three-putt lapse from the fringe above the hole and Zoeller's 10-foot birdie putt on 17 put each at 10-under 274 after four rounds on the Olympic Club course.

Both shot final-round 68.

For McCumber, 43, it was the third triumph of the year and 10th of his 17-season career. With the title came a $540,000 check, boosting his earnings to a career-best $1,208,209 in the last official event of the year.

For Zoeller, 42, it was the fifth runner-up finish in a non-winning year. There was some consolation in a $324,000 prize, boosting him past the $1-million mark for the first time in his career at $1,016,804.

"What can you do?" Zoeller asked in good humor when it was over. "You try your best. I beat a great golf course at 10 under par. It just wasn't good enough."

The tournament also marked the end of the major seasonal races, one of which had been decided long ago.

Nick Price clinched PGA Player of the Year honors when he added the PGA title to his British Open triumph two months ago. He also won the money-winning title for the second consecutive season at $1,499,927. He shot 72 for a par 284 total.

Greg Norman, who started the final round five shots off the pace, was unable to scare the leaders _ even though he wore a Halloween skull mask walking up the 18th fairway.

He did clinch his third Vardon Trophy, which goes to the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average.

Official figures were not available immediately. Norman entered with a lead of more than one-half stroke a round, and beat the only two men who had even the most remote chance of catching him, Price and Tom Lehman.

Norman matched par 71 over the last round and finished at 281.

U.S. beats Japan

AMI, Japan _ Michelle McGann and Donna Andrews shot 66s as the U.S. team won 11 of 18 individual matches against Japan and won the Nichirei International LPGA for the 10th consecutive time. The final score was 22{-13{.

The Americans led 10{-7{ after the first two rounds _ all pairs matches. They outscored Japan 12-6 in Sunday's play. It was the Americans' 14th victory against two losses since the tournament was inaugurated in 1979.

Each U.S. team member collected $22,000. Each player for Japan got $12,375.

McGann, the tournament MVP, beat Japan's Michiko Hattori, the 1985 U.S. women's amateur champion, by 10 strokes at the 6,337-yard Ami Golf Club.

Langer wins Volvo

SOTOGRANDE, Spain _ Bernhard Langer shot 1-under-par 70 and won the Volvo Masters by one stroke when Seve Ballesteros bogeyed the final hole.

Langer, who collected $204,000, finished at 8-under 276. With the win, he leaped past Ballesteros into second place on the final European money list _ worth a bonus of $135,500.

Ballesteros, who shot 73, finished in a second-place tie with Vijay Singh of Fiji at 277.

Singh's 66 was the low round of the day.

Hot Murphy wins

KAANAPALI, Hawaii _ Bob Murphy, the hottest golfer on the PGA Senior Tour, closed with a 5-under-par 66 and tied a tournament record in winning the $550,000 Kaanapali Classic.

Murphy, capturing his second tournament within a span of three weeks, won by two strokes and finished at 18-under 195 for three rounds, matching Jim Colbert's 1991 record.

Murphy carried a one-stroke lead into the final round and faced several challenges over the final 18 holes. But he rolled in three birdies on the closing nine to defeat Jack Kiefer, winner of last week's Ralphs Senior Classic.

In his past 10 rounds, Murphy has played nine under 70. In the two tournaments before the Kaanapali, he finished first and fourth.


Nichirei International: Michelle McGann and Donna Andrews shot 66s as the U.S. team won 11 of 18 individual matches against Japan and won the event for the 10th consecutive time. The final score was 22{-13{ in Ami, Japan. The U.S. team outscored Japan 12-6 Sunday. McGann, the tournament MVP, beat Japan's Michiko Hattori by 10 strokes.

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