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Strong finish gives Roberts Texas Open

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 30, 2002

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Most of Loren Roberts' final round at the Texas Open on Sunday was steady and unremarkable.

Until the final few holes.

Roberts got hot when hard-charging challengers faltered, sinking four birdies on his last six to finish 19-under 261, three shots ahead of Fred Funk, Fred Couples and Garrett Willis.

It was Roberts' eighth career win on the PGA Tour, first since winning the Greater Milwaukee Open in 2000.

"This could be the sweetest because I'm 47 this year," said Roberts, the oldest winner on tour since Tom Watson won the Colonial in 1998 at 48. "For me, I feel like I really turned the calendar back a little bit."

Roberts, who started in the lead at 13 under, shot bogey-free 64. Funk birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 13 to take the lead at 17 under, and Couples made four straight birdies starting on 13.

Both slipped late.

For Funk, the mistake came on the 16th. On the green in regulation, he left a 45-foot putt about 5 feet short, then missed for bogey.

Couple's miscue came on the 17th. Starting the hole at 17 under, he landed his drive in the rough behind the green, left his pitch well short, then missed a 20-foot par putt.

SENIOR AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP: Billy Clagett shot 2-under 70, earning medalist honors by four strokes at the USGA event in Jacksonville. He finished stroke-play qualifying at 5-under 139 and starts match play today.

STATE FARM OPEN: Andy Miller, the 24-year-old son of former PGA star Johnny Miller, won the event in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. He two-putted for birdie on the first playoff hole, beating Dave Stockton Jr. (67), John Restino (69) and Doug Garwood (71). Miller closed with 66 for 12-under 272.

TWO-MAN SHOOTOUT: New Port Richey's Howard Vaughn and Zephyrhills' Carl Sullivan won the overall division title in the state event at West Palm Beach with 59-66-60-185. Palm Harbor's Dallas Whiting and Dunedin's Roger Hebert had the best-gross round in Saturday's two-man scramble (64).

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