Singh drives past Daly at Buick

Posted: Monday, August 02, 2004

GRAND BLANC, Mich. A massive gallery roared when John Daly was introduced at the Buick Open's first tee, and just politely clapped for Vijay Singh in a preview of what was to come over the next four hours.

As they walked down the first fairway, Singh patted Daly on the back and both chuckled as fans hooted and hollered best wishes toward Daly.

Singh seemed to get a kick out of the rock-star like reception for Daly, and he later said it motivated him to win the tournament.

Singh outlasted Daly with a 5-under 67 Sunday to win the Buick Open at 23-under 265 for his fourth victory of the year and 19th of his career. Daly, vying for multiple wins in one year for the first time, finished a stroke back after shooting a 66 and bogeying the 18th hole.

''It was noisy, and the crowd was all for him, but it fired me up,'' Singh said. ''The more they made noise, the more calm I became. I'm just growing up I guess and handling the pressure better.''

Tiger Woods started the day three strokes behind Singh, and only pulled one stroke closer despite shooting a 66. He finished at 21 under, tied with Carlos Franco (67) for third.

''To play that well and not win is frustrating,'' said Woods, who will look to snap his streak without a major victory at nine at the PGA Championship in two weeks.

Defending champion Jim Furyk, who shared the second-round lead with Singh, finished tied for sixth at 17 under after shooting a 68 on Sunday.

Singh's bogey at 18 created an opportunity for Daly to force a playoff, but Daly was unable to take advantage of the break.

''I told him, 'You know, I'm sorry that somebody had to win,''' Singh said.

Singh is just the third two-time Buick Open champion, and the first since Julius Boros in 1967. Tony Lema won at Warwick Hills a second straight time in 1965.

Entering the tournament, Singh had 10 top-10 finishes this year. But since winning consecutive tournaments three months ago, he has just two top-five finishes and was tied for 28th at the U.S. Open and 20th at the British Open.

The Fijian played well this week after changing his putter, going back to a standard putter after using a long one for 2 1/2 years.

''The way I putted for the last two months, I could not possibly have putted worse,'' he said.

Singh also said earlier in the week that he stopped worrying about chasing Woods in the world rankings, where Woods is No. 1 and Singh is third.

Singh won his seventh straight tournament when he at least shared the lead after 54 holes, dating to the 2002 Shell Houston open.

Women's British Open

SUNNINGDALE, England Karen Stupples won her first major title Sunday with a record-tying 19-under 269, while defending champion Annika Sorenstam's bid to become the second woman to win all four majors back-to-back ended in a tie for 13th.

This time the victory went to a homegrown talent who has been playing on the LPGA Tour for six years and won her first title in the opening tournament of the season. Now she has a major to go with it and a check for $290,880.

Stupples shot an 8-under 64 in the final round on the Old Course at Sunningdale to tie the record-low score in a major, set by Dottie Pepper at the 1999 Nabisco Dinah Shore.

U.S. Senior Open

ST. LOUIS Peter Jacobsen played 36 holes with a sore hip and still rallied to win the U.S. Senior Open after Tom Kite double-bogeyed the final hole.

Jacobsen shot a 3-under 68 over the final 18 and was 12 under for the tournament, one stroke ahead of Hale Irwin. Kite played 4 over for the last four holes and finished third at 10 under, tied with Jay Haas. Bob Gilder was fifth, another stroke back.



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