GOLF Sowards dominates by 9 strokes



Bob Sowards overwhelmed the field in the 81st Sky Bank Ohio Open.
AURORA (AP) -- The only thing Bob Sowards missed all week was his lofty goal -- a 10-shot victory in the 81st Sky Bank Ohio Open.
Sowards shot a 7-under-par 65 in the final round Wednesday for a nine-stroke victory over Barry Hinckley to claim the $10,000 first prize at rain-soaked Barrington Golf Club.
Sowards finished at 16-under 200 for the three rounds.
"I've tried to protect a lead in the past and it backfired," said Sowards, who won the event in 2002 and entered this year's final round with a one-shot advantage. "So, I tried to win by 10."
Hinckley, who had the best round of the tournament, a first-round 64, again came out firing early. He hit his approach within four feet on No. 1 and sank the birdie putt to tie for the lead.
"That's a nice way to start," said Hinckley, of Reynoldsburg. "I was ready to play."
But the 35-year-old gave the shot right back on No. 2, three-putting from 25 feet for bogey.
Opens four-shot lead
Sowards, playing in a steady rain, made three straight birdies at Nos. 4-5-6 to open a four-shot lead.
An errant tee shot on No. 7 quickly threatened his advantage, however.
Sowards credited his caddie, Ryan Bruncak, for helping him read greens all week.
"I didn't listen to him three times in the first round and missed all three," he said. "From there on, I let him call the shots."
It helped that Sowards continued to assault pin placements. He went to No. 8, where he hit his second shot to within a foot.
Hinckley shot 1-over 73 for his final round.
Robison is third
Finishing third at 5-under 211 was reigning Ohio Senior Open champion Gary Robison of Akron, while Anthony Zummo of Mayfield Heights was fourth at 212.
Joe Frustaci, a 17-year-old high school senior from Canton, tied for eighth place at 214.
"I really had a lot of fun," said Fristaci, who had a final round of 3-over 75.

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