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GOLF ROUNDUP Leonard snaps mark in Honda Classic win



Published: Thu, March 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Wendy Doolan captured the LPGA season opener by three strokes.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Justin Leonard shot a 5-under 67, broke the Honda Classic record with a 24-under 264 and beat Davis Love III and Chad Campbell by one stroke for his eighth career tour victory on Sunday.

Leonard, paired in the final round with his close friend Love for the first time since the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot, rallied from two strokes down over the final 13 holes to win $900,000.

Love, who won the 1997 battle, started the day 20-under at The Club at Mirasol and increased his lead with birdies at Nos. 1 and 3. Leonard also birdied the par-4 first, but was two strokes back heading to the par-3 sixth.

Love made his first of two bogeys on the day at No. 6, and Leonard rolled in a 15-footer for birdie to even the score.

Leonard also birdied three of the next five holes, and called his chip on the par-5 ninth his biggest shot of the round because Love hit his second shot to within 2 feet for eagle. If Leonard didn't birdie, he would have been two strokes down again with nine holes to play.

Welch's-Fry's Championship

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Wendy Doolan overcame soggy conditions and the pursuit of more prominent players to shoot a 5-under-par 65 and win the LPGA Tour's season opener by three strokes.

The 34-year-old Australian did what she had to do -- bounce back from a bogey with a birdie on the next hole -- to blunt charges by Grace Park and Betsy King to capture her second title, the Welch's-Fry's Championship.

Doolan pocketed $120,000 -- nearly half of her 2002 earnings -- with her score of 21-under 259.

King carded a 65 to tie third-round leader Lorie Kane (70) at 262. Park, derailed by a double bogey on the 17th hole, settled for a 67 and a tie with Christina Kim (70) at 263.

Qatar Masters

DOHA, Qatar -- South Africa's Darren Fichardt made a 3-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat countryman James Kingston .

On the playoff hole, the 581-yard, par-5 18th, Kingston hit his second shot into a greenside bunker. Fichardt landed his second shot on the green, 40 feet from the cup.

After Kingston missed a 6-foot putt for birdie and settled for par, Fichardt made a short birdie putt to win his second European Tour title.

Fichardt and Kingston each shot a 3-under 69 in the final round and finished tied at 13-under 275 after 72 holes at Doha Golf Club.

SBC Classic

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Tom Purtzer rolled in a 58-foot eagle putt on the final hole for his first victory on the Champions Tour.

Gil Morgan had a two-stroke lead going into the 546-yard, par-5 18th hole of the rain-shortened tournament at Valencia Country Club but missed a 7-foot putt that would have forced a playoff. Both Morgan and Purtzer missed getting into last year's playoff, won by Tom Kite, by one stroke.

Purtzer's eagle finished off a final round 4-under 68. He had a 36-hole total of 9-under 135 after rain washed out Saturday's play and cut the tournament from 54 holes. The victory was worth $225,000.




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