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Whole lotta Love triumphs at TPC

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2003

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. Davis Love III provided the charge everyone expected from Tiger Woods and delivered a performance every bit as dominant in The Players Championship.

Love pulled away with five straight birdies and closed with an 8-under 64 to match the best final round by the winner in the 30-year history of the tournament known as the fifth major.

It was the second time Love has won The Players Championship, and it could be a huge boost to his confidence with the Masters only two weeks away.

Love finished at 17-under 271 and won by six strokes over 49-year-old Jay Haas and Padraig Harrington of Ireland, who shared the lead going into the final round but never stood a chance against such a barrage of birdies.

Haas, trying to become the oldest winner of The Players Championship, closed with an even-par 72, and his tie for second earned him enough money to move into the top 10 on the money list and qualify for the Masters.

LPGA

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. Patricia Meunier-Lebouc calmly played her way down the 18th hole, a smile on her face as she as she thought of friends and family back home and what a win in the Kraft Nabisco would mean to them.

Meunier-Lebouc had to overcome an out-of-bounds tee shot on the third hole with some steady play in the final holes to deny Annika Sorenstam's bid to become the first LPGA player to win the same major title three years in a row.

After she was done, Meunier-Lebouc took the traditional victor's plunge into the pond next to the 18th green. She did, if only because she handled the pressure of being in contention in a major championship for the first time so well.

Accompanying her in the final group was two-time defending champion Annika Sorenstam and 13-year-old Michelle Wie, who faded with a 76.

Meunier-Lebouc birdied the 13th hole to take the lead, then parred her way in before a meaningless 3-putt bogey on the final hole gave her a 1-over 73 and a one-shot win over Sorenstam.

Sorenstam finished with a 1-under 71 for second place, a stroke ahead of rookie Lorena Ochoa, who shot a final-round 68.

Nationwide

BROUSSARD, La. (AP) Brett Wetterich shot a 2-under 70 to win the Louisiana Open, his first career win on the Nationwide Tour.

The former PGA Tour member tied a tournament record by finishing 24 under, three strokes ahead of runner-up Ken Duke. It was the first North American event of the season for the Nationwide Tour.

Russ Cochran and Steve Allan tied at 19 under while Tom Carter was one shot back in fifth.

Indian Open

NEW DELHI, India (AP) Former PGA Tour player Mike Cunning won his first title in seven years, shooting an 8-under-par 64 for a five-stroke victory at the Asian PGA Tour's Indian Open.

Cunning, of Phoenix, had 10 birdies and two bogeys in the final round and finished at 18-under 270. The title was Cunning's first since 1996, when he won the Singapore Masters.



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