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Flesch keeps cool

Associated Press
Published May 24, 2004

FORT WORTH, Texas - Steve Flesch lost his focus when he realized he had a two-stroke lead with two holes to play at the Colonial.

That lapse cost him a stroke, but not his second PGA Tour win.

After missing the 17th green with an approach shot from the middle of the fairway and then needing two chips before making bogey, Flesch won the Colonial on Sunday with an 11-under 269 total, one ahead of fellow third-round co-leader Chad Campbell.

The left-hander's closing 3-under 67 came on his 37th birthday. He withdrew from the Byron Nelson Championship, the previous tournament, because of a sore back and mental fatigue.

"I was tired from playing so many events. That's the best decision I've made all year," said Flesch, who earned $954,000 and moved to ninth in the Ryder Cup standings.

Flesch, having missed three birdie chances of 5 feet or less, curled in a 16-footer at the 188-yard 16th hole. He was in the middle of the 17th fairway at 12 under, two strokes ahead of Campbell.

But he missed the green, left his chip in the rough, made a 5-footer to salvage bogey and had a closing par.

Campbell couldn't take advantage of Flesch's mistake. At No. 16, a 13-foot birdie putt went 3 feet past, then he bogeyed 17.

Jesper Parnevik was within a stroke of the lead when he started his back nine. He fell out of contention with 41 on the back nine that included three bogeys, triple bogey, double bogey and two birdies.

Brian Gay, who shared Saturday's one-shot lead with Flesch, shot 75-277.

LPGA: Sherri Steinhauer was walking with two friends just minutes after she won the Sybase Classic in New Rochelle, N.Y.

"Are we dreaming? Did this happen?" she asked after rebounding from 2003, her worst year. "It's amazing."

The 19-year LPGA Tour veteran shot 2-under 69 to finish two strokes in front of Grace Park. It was Steinhauer's sixth victory and the first since winning this tournament and the British Open in 1999.

While co-leader Becky Morgan had a front nine of four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey, Steinhauer had nine pars. They were 10 under, with Park one back.

Steinhauer made birdies on Nos. 10, 14 and 15 to go up three strokes over Park. A bogey on 16 cut the lead to two, but Steinhauer had a great par save on 17 and parred 18 to finish at 12-under 272.

Park, who took over the money lead from Annika Sorenstam with $652,881, was second after 68.

CHAMPIONS: D.A. Weibring celebrated his return to the Midwest by shooting par 71 in blustery, overcast conditions to win the Allianz Championship by three strokes in West Des Moines, Iowa.

The Quincy, Ill., native survived an early double bogey and challenges by Tom Watson and Tom Kite. His fifth victory in the Midwest was worth $225,000.

He led after all three rounds and finished at 9-under 204.

Kite was within one after birdie on 9. But Weibring birdied 10 after sticking a 5-iron from 179 yards to about 2 feet, and Kite faltered down the stretch.

Watson trailed by two after eagle on No. 9. But he had problems putting on the back nine.

EUROPEAN PGA: South Africa's Trevor Immelman birdied the final hole and beat defending champion Padraig Harrington by a stroke at the Deutsche Bank Open in St. Leon-Rot, Germany. Immelman closed with 7-under 65.

ASIAN TOUR: Scotland's Simon Yates shot 2-under 70 for a one-stroke victory in the SK Telecom Open in Seoul, South Korea. Fred Couples was five back.

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