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Archive for Monday, July 2, 2007

Bateman’s birdie bags Buick bounty

July 2, 2007

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— Brian Bateman, who entered 204th on the money list, birdied the final hole Sunday to break a four-way tie and win by one stroke.

"I didn't really have any expectations," he said.

He closed with a 3 under to finish 15-under 273, the highest winning score at Warwick Hills since 1997, to claim his first victory on the PGA Tour. He had finished third in two previous tournaments.

Jason Gore (67), Justin Leonard (67) and Woody Austin (69) finished tied for second. Jim Furyk (70) and Scott Verplank (71) were in a group of five that were two shots behind Bateman.

In a tournament that started in 1958, Bateman was just the second player to birdie 18 for a one-shot victory. Rocco Mediate did it in 2000.

A perfect drive and approach set him up for a 12-footer for birdie, and he made the putt that broke slightly from right to left. When the ball went in on the side of the cup, Bateman buckled his knees, tossed his putter and pumped his fists.

Tiger Woods (with his wife and baby) and Vijay Singh (resting a sore elbow) didn't play at the Buick Open for the first time since 2001 after combining to win four of the previous five.

Nielsen cruises over Roberts

East Meadow, N.Y. - Lonnie Nielsen, who didn't win in five years on the PGA Tour and made 91 starts on the Champions Tour without winning, shot a 2-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Loren Roberts in the Commerce Bank Championship.

Nielsen, who turned 54 on Friday, won 32 titles on smaller tours, including the New York State Open in 1985 and 1989. He entered the final round at the 7,021-yard Red Course at Eisenhower Park with a three-stroke lead and was never threatened. He took home the $225,000 top prize from a purse of $1.5 million.

Storm first-time victor

Versailles, France - England's Graeme Storm won his first European Tour title Sunday, capturing the French Open with a one-stroke victory over Denmark's Soren Hansen.

Storm closed with a 5-under-par 66 and finished with a total of 7-under 277. He started the day in eighth place.

Simon Kahn, Colin Montgomerie, Thomas Bjorn and Damien McGrane were two strokes back at 279.

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