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Duval captures third straight

David Duval closed with two scrambling pars to win his third straight tournament at the Tour Championship on Sunday, denying Davis Love III a chance to beat Tiger Woods for the season money title.

Duval, who made a 40-foot eagle on No. 13 to move into a tie for the lead and recovered from the rough on Nos. 17 and 18, became the first player to win three straight starts on the PGA Tour since Nick Price in 1993.

"Three victories in a year, no matter how they are spaced out, is a great year," said Duval, who became the first player to make his first three victories consecutive.

"After those putts in the playoffs at Kingsmill and then Disney, I just look forward to having those now," Duval said, referring to his two victories in October. "It is nowhere in my mind that I am going to miss it."

Duval closed with 68 to finish at 11-under-par 273, one stroke ahead of Jim Furyk and two better than Love.

VOLVO MASTERS: Scotland's Colin Montgomerie won the PGA European money title for a record fifth straight year when heavy storms shortened the tournament in Jerez, Spain, to 54 holes, making Lee Westwood of England the winner.

Montgomerie finished the year with $1,278,315. Bernhard Langer of Germany was second with $1,107,836 and Westwood third with $941,948.

The 34-year-old Montgomerie, one of the leaders of Europe's recent Ryder Cup victory over the United States, said he will play full time on the American tour next year and still play the seven tournaments in Europe required to keep his playing card there.

Westwood finished 54 holes with 16-under 200, three strokes ahead of Padraig Harrington of Ireland.

NICHIREI INTERNATIONAL: Cindy Figg-Currier led the way as the U.S. LPGA team won 10 of 18 singles matches and tied another to finish with a 23-13 victory over Japan in the $675,000 tournament in Ina, Japan.

It was the Americans' 13th straight victory in the competition between the two LPGA tours and 17th against two losses since 1979.

The Americans beat Japan 7{-1{ in the first round, 5-4 in the second round and 10{-7{ on the final day. A victory was worth one point and a tie a half-point.

Figg-Currier, the only player to win three matches, was chosen most valuable player.

RALPHS SENIOR CLASSIC: Gil Morgan defended his title by closing with 6-under 65 to finish one stroke ahead of George Archer in Los Angeles.

Morgan, 51, finished 15-under 198 to capture the $150,000 first prize and his fifth win of the season. The win boosted his season's earnings to $1.8-million.

"I didn't feel like I was under a lot of pressure to defend this championship," Morgan said. "Maybe I'll feel more pressure here next year when trying for a threepeat."

Jim Colbert, Senior Player of the Year the past two years, double bogeyed the par-3 13th hole and the par-5 16th hole to lose all chance of winning his first tournament in 1997. Colbert had prostate cancer surgery June 23 and was playing in his third tournament.

A DUVAL DOUBLE: While David won, his father, Bob, earned his senior tour card for 1998.

Bob Duval finished 31st on the money list and earned the final automatic spot for next year's tournaments.

The elder Duval, who did not have a fully exempt card for this year, was 26th on the money list but missed getting into the last two tournaments in Monday qualifying.

"Yeah, I was thinking about it," David Duval said. "You know, him staying in there was more important than me winning this tournament."