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In playoff, Dodds gets first win

Trevor Dodds parred the first playoff hole Sunday to become another comeback winner at the Greater Greensboro Classic, edging Scott Verplank for his first PGA Tour victory.

Dodds, who battled testicular cancer last season while playing the Nike Tour, became the 15th winner this season in as many PGA Tour events.

He played the difficult par 4 to near perfection.

"I played that hole in so few shots that I have to write it down or get a picture to remember it," Dodds said.

It was the second straight year the tournament went into a playoff. Last year, Frank Nobilo rallied from five shots back to defeat Brad Faxon on the first extra hole, played in a virtual monsoon with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees.

This time the sun was shining and temperature was in the 80s. But a tricky wind gusting to 25 mph frustrated players down the stretch.

Dodds, who shot 69 for 12-under 276, trailed by two shots as he stood on the 18th tee. He almost holed his approach shot and birdied one of the course's toughest holes for the fourth straight day to move one behind leader Bob Estes at the time.

Estes, playing two groups behind Dodds, then missed two par-saving 5-footers on the final two holes, the last devastating bogey lipping out on the right side of the hole with Verplank, one shot back, waiting patiently in the 18th fairway.

Estes, one of the game's best putters, led by two shots after birdies at 10 and 11 but missed four of his last seven greens in regulation to finish 1-over 73.

Verplank put his approach shot within 30 feet on No. 18, then made the dramatic putt to finish with 72 and force the playoff.

Verplank was first off the 18th tee, but his drive found the deep right rough. Dodds split the fairway and had a 150-yard approach shot to a hole he had huge success on throughout the event.

Verplank was able to move his approach shot only within 60 yards of the green, and he two-putted for bogey. Dodds' approach shot was within 8 feet, and he two-putted.

CHICK-FIL-A CHAMPIONSHIP: Liselotte Neumann rebounded from bogey on No. 4, which shrunk her three-shot lead to one, with birdie at No. 5 and cruised to a three-shot victory at Eagles Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga., becoming the third double-winner on the LPGA Tour this year.

She clinched the 12th victory of her career by shooting 2-under 70 in the final round.

Neumann, who finished second in the Atlanta-area tournament in 1994 and '96, won with 14-under 202. Dottie Pepper and Lorie Kane tied for second at 205.

LAS VEGAS SENIORS: Hale Irwin is used to running away with tournaments. But he nearly let one get away.

Irwin, usually at his best when he's in front, squandered almost all of a six-shot lead before steadying himself on the back nine to win by a shot over Vicente Fernandez.

It was the second straight win for Irwin, and his third in seven tournaments this year.

It was also his second straight Las Vegas title.

But, unlike last week when he won the PGA Seniors' Championship by seven shots, this time Irwin let the field back in on a wind-swept day at the TPC Summerlin course.

Irwin shot 4-over-par 40 on the front side as his lead dwindled to a shot, before recovering with a solid final nine for 3-over 75. But he had to make a 3-footer for par on the final hole to win.

SPANISH OPEN: Thomas Bjorn overtook Greg Chalmers with 6-under-par 66 to win in Barcelona.

Bjorn finished with 15-under 267, just one shot ahead of Chalmers, who had led from the first day. Chalmers shot 69 to finish tied for second at 268 with Jose Maria Olazabal.

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