With an eye on 59, Micheel settles for 4-way tie at top

Associated Press
Published September 16, 2005

FARMINGTON, Pa. - With three holes to play and a long run of below-par holes behind him, Shaun Micheel must have had that magic number - 59 - in mind Thursday at the 84 Classic Lumber Classic.

Maybe that's why the 65 he settled for probably seems like a disappointment now, even though he gladly would have settled for it before the round began.

Micheel, who has done little on the PGA Tour since winning the 2003 PGA Championship, bogeyed the final three holes on the 7,516-yard Mystic Rock course to settle for 7-under 65 and a four-way tie with Mark O'Meara, South Korea's Charlie Wi and Nationwide Tour phenom Jason Gore.

Micheel went from 1 under to 9 under in a span of nine holes, from No. 15 through an eagle at the 598-yard No. 5, getting six birdies along the way after starting his round at No. 10.

But with a chance to open up a big lead on a day when there were far more 7 unders than defending champion Vijay Singh projected - he thought 3 or 4 under would be good enough for the lead - Micheel began dropping strokes.

Singh was tied for 53rd in a large group at 72. Phil Mickelson was in danger of missing the cut after 73.

EUROPEAN PGA: Former winner Colin Montgomerie was eliminated in the first round of the World Match Play Championship by Australia's Mark Hensby, who next faces top-seeded Retief Goosen in Virginia Water, England. Hensby, seeded ninth, won 2 and 1 against the eighth-seeded Montgomerie. Goosen beat Kenneth Ferrie 8 and 7. Third-seeded Luke Donald scored a 7-and-6 victory over Bernhard Langer. U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell, seeded fourth, had to go to the 36th hole to beat Geoff Ogilvy 1-up after leading by six with 13 holes left.

U.S. MEN'S MID-AMATEUR: Kevin Marsh defeated Carlton Forrester 10 and 9 in the 36-hole match play final in Chattanooga, Tenn. Marsh, from Las Vegas, was 6 under on the back nine at the Honors Course in the morning round and led 10-up after 18 holes. Forrester, a former Georgia Tech standout who lives in Birmingham, Ala., wasn't able to mount a comeback. Marsh, 32, earns an invitation into next year's Masters with his victory in the U.S. Golf Association's championship for amateurs 25 and over.

U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR: Canada's Mary Anne Lapointe became the first foreign-born winner, defeating stroke-play medalist Kerry Postillion 1-up in the match-play final at Richmond, Texas. Lapointe, 45, of Georgetown, Ontario, won the first two holes and never trailed.