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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > PGA Tour > Bay Hill Invitational > Round 4


Greg Owen rues missed putts

Britain's Greg Owen was struggling to come to terms with his stumbling finish after throwing away a golden opportunity to win the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

The 34-year-old Englishman, chasing his first PGA Tour victory, had led by one with two holes to play before gifting the tournament to Australia's Rod Pampling.

Owen three-putted from just under four feet to double-bogey the 17th and missed a 13-footer for a par at the last which would have forced a playoff for the title.

"I couldn't play better than that," Owen told reporters after a three-under-par 69 that included six birdies left him one stroke behind Pampling.

"I played really well, did real great until 17. I hit a good shot on 17, and, I don't know, just lack of concentration. I throw away a tournament."

Asked how he would deal with his disappointment, Owen replied: "I don't know. I'll find out tonight, but it's not going to be easy.

"You don't get many chances to win on the PGA Tour and on a great golf course like this. I had it in my pocket. It was there and I threw it away. I'll play again next week and see what happens there."

Owen, playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, came agonisingly close to hitting a perfect three-iron off the tee at the par-three 17th.

"I hit a great shot," he said. "I hit it right on line, just need another inch and it's next to the hole."

Although his ball rolled back down the slope just off the green, he knew an up-and-down from there for par should have been a formality.

"I should still be making three, but I hit a great shot," he said.

With the crowd watching in amazement, the Englishman overran his par putt from three-and-a-half feet before missing the return from just two feet for a double-bogey five.

"You can accept missing the first putt, but just to throw away a shot like that after the hard work you've done all week is just stupid," Owen said. "That's what I've done.

"I can't say I got nervous on that putt. I just moved on it, got quick on it, just lost concentration.

"It was just one of those silly mistakes that I'll be remembered for."

Owen, whose solitary European Tour victory came at the 2003 British Masters, felt he was robbed of a par-saving putt at the final hole.

"I can't believe that missed," he said of his attempt from 13 feet. "That was one of them things where it just kicks you in the teeth.

"I hit the best putt of the day there, and you see it going in and the next thing you turn around and you come out and it's like" 'How is it done?' Well, it wasn't meant to be."

Despite his bitter disappointment, Owen earned a career-high cheque for $594,000 after finishing alone at 13-under 275 in second place, his best finish on the PGA Tour.



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