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Rediff.com  » Sports » Petrovic claims maiden PGA Tour win

Petrovic claims maiden PGA Tour win

May 02, 2005 11:20 IST

Tim Petrovic beat James Driscoll on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to claim his maiden PGA Tour victory at the $5.5 million Zurich Classic at New Orleans on Sunday.

Petrovic emerged from the pack with a final-round four-under-par 68 to draw level with Driscoll on 13-under 275 after 72 holes on a long day at the TPC at Louisiana that began with the completion of the rain-hit third round.

The 38-year-old American was left a routine putt for par to collect the $990,000 winner's cheque after Driscoll bogeyed the par-five 18th.

It was the second time Petrovic had stepped onto the final green needing a clutch putt, having drained a nervy 20-footer for birdie 20 minutes earlier to force the playoff.

Chris DiMarco, who lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods at the US Masters last month, was left to ponder another disappointing day after he let slip a two-shot lead on the back nine to finish tied for third with Lucas Glover on 12-under 276.

A PGA Tour rookie, Driscoll held his nerve through a tense final round to close with seven consecutive pars for a two-under 70 that ended with him missing a chance to win in regulation when his four-foot birdie putt on the 18th lipped out of the cup.

Petrovic, who took 14 years to earn a spot on the PGA Tour and used to deliver pizzas to help pay the bills early in his career, becomes the fourth first-time winner this season.

"I just kept hanging in there, I missed a couple of putts coming in but I hung in there," Petrovic said.

"It's unbelievable.

"I started out horribly this year but the putter woke up this week. I don't know what happened but it just came out of its coma."

DIMARCO SLUMPS

Back in action for the first time since his crushing playoff loss at the US Masters, DiMarco had appeared poised to put that disappointment behind him, leading by two-strokes after a flawless front nine.

However, the world number eight stumbled on the back nine, with three bogeys, including one at the last, to miss out on the playoff and extend an 86-event title drought that dates back to the 2002 Phoenix Open.

It was also a bitterly disappointing day for last year's champion Vijay Singh, who won the Houston Open a week ago and was attempting to become the first golfer since Johnny Miller in 1975 to defend back-to-back titles in consecutive years.

The Fijian had been in thick of the action but three bogeys and a double-bogey over the closing stretch of the third round left him seven shots off the pace.

The world number two began his final round smartly with a birdie on the first but could not sustain the rally finishing with a 72, eight shots behind the leaders on five-under 283.

 

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