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Golf

Bad round costs Kite two titles

By Associated press
Published October 25, 2004

SONOMA, Calif. - Mark McNulty rallied from five down in the final round, making five birdies in the last eight holes, to beat Tom Kite by one at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on Sunday.

McNulty shot 6-under 66 to finish at 11-under 277, matching the day's best round and providing half of a double dose of heartbreak for Kite, who led after each of the first three rounds but shot 72.

"I don't want to say something I shouldn't here," said McNulty, who also won last week. "But it was a tournament for Tom to win or lose."

Kite also lost the Schwab Cup, awarded to the season points leader. Hale Irwin, playing with a stiff back and neck, shot 3 over to finish seventh. But he won his second Cup with 3,427 points, 39 more than Craig Stadler.

"I guess I'm in a mild state of shock," Irwin said. "I really did not think for one moment that I was going to get through the day."

Kite, who finished third in points, could have won the Cup by winning Sunday. But he bogeyed three of the first four holes. With another at No. 7, Kite fell out of the lead. Moments later, McNulty birdied 11, the first of four in a row.

"I wasn't even a really good 23-handicapper on the front nine," Kite said. "It was my tournament. I just had to play some golf, and I couldn't do it until the final few holes."

EUROPEAN PGA: Richard Sterne shot 5-under 65 to win the Madrid Open by two. It was his first tour win and earned him an exemption for next year.

Sterne, 23, who entered the tournament 112th on the money list, started the day one back. He eagled the 518-yard No.4 for the second time in three days and had no bogeys. Anders Hansen (66) finished second, one stroke ahead of Terry Price (67).

[Last modified October 25, 2004, 02:35:37]


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