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Dottie Pepper wins par 3 challenge

Dottie Pepper scored a triumph for the LPGA Tour with a two-stroke victory over the PGA Tour's Fred Couples today in the third annual Sun Microsystems Par 3 Challenge at Four Seasons Resort Aviara.

Pepper shot a 3-under-par 51 to win $130,000 in the 18-hole tournament on the course that was configured to make every hole a par 3.

Couples, who shot a 53, was followed by Ben Crenshaw at even-par 54, Nancy Lopez, Lee Trevino, and Craig Stadler at 55, Gary Nicklaus and Gary McCord at 57, and Grace Park at 58.

TV and film star James Garner came the closest to winning $1 million for a hole-in-one when his 6-iron to the 158-yard 16th hole came up short by four inches. "I just didn't hit it hard enough," said Garner, who won $65,000 for his charity, the Lupus Foundation, for being the low celebrity. Garner shot a 64 to beat New York Yankee pitching star Roger Clemens (68) and U.S. Women's soccer star Mia Hamm (72).

"I felt a little pride in winning," Pepper said. "The quality of play on ourtour is overlooked. It has really picked up over the last five or six years and we have had to work hard on our games to keep up. I knew I had to hit some great shots in an event like this, with so many great players, and I was able to do it."

In the three years of the event, it has been won by a member of adifferent tour each year.The PGA Tour's Jesper Parnevik won it in 1998, and the Senior PGA Tour's Lee Trevino won it in 1999.



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