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Triple-bogey 6 on the crazy 8th dooms Lowery

The third-round co-leader sees his hopes disappear with a chip into the woods.

By RODNEY PAGE
Published October 31, 2005


PALM HARBOR - At high noon, when Steve Lowery teed off at the Chrysler Championship in Sunday's final group, he was tied for the lead with Carl Pettersson. Nearly two hours later, Lowery was three shots behind thanks to an awful eighth hole.

Lowery's tee shot on the par-3, 235-yard hole drifted short and right into a greenside bunker. His second shot soared 20 yards over the green into a patch of tree roots and pine needles.

His chip from the woods fell short of the green, and his next chip went 27 feet past the hole. Two putts later, Lowery suffered a triple-bogey 6.

To make things worse for Lowery, Pettersson made a 28-footer for par on No.8 to remain at 8 under. Pettersson would go on to win the tournament as Lowery never recovered and finished in a seven-way tie for third at 5 under.

"It was a long bunker shot and I was worried about coming out short," Lowery said. "I hit too close to it and that put it back in the (tree) roots. I didn't have much of a shot.

"That was a big swing on one hole."

Lowery could have gone even further down the scoreboard, but he recovered with five straight pars and a birdie on No.14. Any thoughts of making one final run at Pettersson were dashed after he bogied No.16.

Lowery shot 4-over 75. It was his worst round of the tournament by five strokes.

He was fully aware that a better showing at No.8 would have kept him in contention.

"You can't let that get you down too much," Lowery said. "I played well all week. That was the only double bogey or worse that I had all week, so that's the way it goes.

"Once you make something like that then you have to make some putts to catch him. I had some good putts on 11 and 12 and couldn't convert. I made a good save on 13 and birdied 14. Had a good chance on 15 but didn't make it. That kind of day."

Lowery is 88th on the money list and earned $216,164 at the Chrysler Championship. It was his best finish of the season, which began with him missing 11 of 12 cuts.

He did not qualify for this week's Tour Championship, but he does plan to play in the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in Madison, Miss., beginning Thursday.

After that he said he will take a few months off before the 2006 season. And he swears he won't think about the eighth hole at Innisbrook's Copperhead Course.

"Out here you're used to that," he said. "It happens.

"All you can do is go forward."