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'Bama golfer rings in first PGA Tour victory

Published Sep. 3, 2005

Get ready Huntsville, Ala., the McRoys are going to have another bell-ringing celebration and it should be the best one yet.

Spike McRoy came from seven strokes behind Sunday to dart past Shaun Micheel and win the B.C. Open by one stroke over Fred Funk. It was the 34-year-old McRoy's first PGA Tour victory.

His father, Robert McRoy Sr., has a pole in his backyard in Alabama with a bell on top. After every tournament win in Spike McRoy's career, another engraved plaque is nailed on the pole and, with family and friends present, the bell is rung to celebrate the achievement.

"It's going to be really cool to see that one go up there," McRoy said. "I know he'll be very proud."

There are other plaques on the pole marking the Alabama Open, the two Hooters Tour tournaments and the two Buy.Com Tour events McRoy won.

But nothing can match the PGA Tour title, nor the improbable way McRoy won it after he started Sunday so far behind Micheel.

"It's just a funny game like that, you know?" McRoy said. "It's so hard to put four solid rounds together, whether you're at Bethpage, the hardest golf course I've every played, or a very scorable course like this."

McRoy closed with 7-under 65 on the En-Joie Golf Club course for a 19-under 269 total.

Micheel, also seeking his first tour win, bogeyed the last two holes to fall out of a tie with McRoy and into a five-way tie for third at 17 under.

McRoy rolled in a 31-foot birdie putt on 18 to tie Micheel, who began the day 19 under with a three-shot lead over Paul Gow.

At the same time, Micheel was falling from 19 under to 18 under when he dribbled a shot out of a greenside bunker on the par-3 14th hole and bogeyed. It was the first time since the second round that Micheel had not had at least a share of the lead.

Micheel's 74 followed rounds of 65, 65 and 67. He declined to be interviewed afterward.

McRoy watched his friend's round unravel on TV in the press room. "It was just absolutely miserable," he said. "The most miserable thing about it is I'm watching a buddy of mine that's not having a good day. Here we are, we're battling it out for a golf tournament. Shaun's a great dude and we've played a lot of golf together."

GIANT EAGLE LPGA CLASSIC: Mi Hyun Kim came up big against Kelly Robbins in the final round in Vienna, Ohio.

The 25-year-old South Korean, charitably listed at 5-1, hit a 7-wood shot to within 4 feet on the 17th hole to set up the deciding birdie in her one-stroke victory over the 5-9 Robbins.

"In the morning I saw the newspaper and saw Kelly and me standing together," Kim said. "I didn't know I was that short."

Kim finished with 3-under-par 69 for a 14-under 202 total, and Robbins closed with 71.

"Any time you can finish second, you've hit a lot of shots well," Robbins said. "But I was licking my chops hoping for something better."

Kim, at a two-club disadvantage on almost every approach shot as she matched Robbins stroke for stroke, said she didn't enjoy what turned out to be a match play.

"No, because she's a very long player," Kim said. "Every time she was playing a short iron, I'd have to hit a long iron or a fairway wood."

Dorothy Delasin and Grace Park shot 67s to tie for third.