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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > Champions Tour > Charles Schwab Cup > Round 4
 

CHARLES SCHWAB CUP RELATED STORIES





Steady Jim Thorpe claims victory

Jim Thorpe won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship with supremely steady play down the stretch Sunday.

And Loren Roberts lost $500,000 with one big hiccup.

Thorpe rallied in the final holes to stay on top of a tight field with a 4-under 68 in the Champions Tour's season-ending event, cruising to a two-stroke victory over Tom Kite and his second win at Sonoma Golf Club in four years.

But Roberts, Thorpe's playing partner, provided the real drama when he missed a 4 1/2 -foot putt on the tournament's final hole. With that single miss, Jay Haas won the two players' back-and-forth, season-long points competition for the Charles Schwab Cup and the resulting $1 million annuity.

Roberts, the Champions Tour's best putter all season, couldn't make one last putt -- and so the "Boss of the Moss" had to settle for a $500,000 annuity while Haas claimed his first gold cup.

"I was probably a little tired from the Ryder Cup and everything this year," said Roberts, an assistant captain for the U.S. team. "I ran out of gas today, and the putter let me down. That's what's so disappointing."

Thorpe earned $440,000 from the $2.5 million purse.

Keith Fergus shot a 66 to finish third, three strokes back at 14 under. Roberts (71) and Eduardo Romero (68) were fourth at 12 under, with Haas (72) at 11 under with Craig Stadler (69) and Tom Watson (70).

Haas earned $105,000 to win the money title with $2,420,227. Roberts made $158,000 to finish second with $2,365,395. They shared the tour victory lead with four.

Roberts easily reached the 18th green, needing a two-putt to win the Charles Schwab Cup bonus competition. A sharp first putt from 56 feet set up the 4 1/2 -footer on a smooth downhill roll -- but it rimmed the left side and lipped off to the right.

Roberts didn't know he had just blown half a million bucks, but many fans in the groaning Sonoma gallery seemed aware. Meanwhile, Thorpe coolly finished up his bogey to pocket his 12th Champions Tour victory -- and his fourth in Northern California.

Thorpe, the 2003 champion and a three-time winner in previous wine-country tournaments, led after the first and third rounds, taking a two-shot margin over Kite, Haas and Roberts into the final 18 holes.

Thorpe's competition with Kite peaked shortly before the turn, when Kite took the lead with consecutive birdies. Thorpe, the third-round leader, missed makable putts on the first two holes after the turn, muttering to himself as he walked the course with the similarly struggling Roberts.

But Thorpe snapped out of a mediocre round with an eagle on the par-5 13th, holing an 11-foot putt after an exceptional 230-yard approach shot. Thorpe then buried a 20-foot chip from the rough for birdie on the 15th, raising his arms in celebration as it dropped.

Kite couldn't move from 15 under after a birdie on the 10th -- and by then, the drama had shifted to Roberts and Haas, who finished with 3,053 points to Roberts' 3,033 in the Schwab Cup competition. If Roberts had made his putt, he would have won by 16 points.

"I'm a little lost right now," Haas said. "I didn't have a great day ... but it's a privilege to be able to finish with something like this."

Haas, the money leader for most of the season, got to 13 under with consecutive birdies midway through the front nine -- but he fell apart with three straight bogeys after the turn.

Roberts rolled in a birdie putt on the 14th to take a three-stroke lead -- and a projected lead on Haas in the Schwab Cup race. Haas took back the lead with an 18-foot eagle putt on the 16th, pumping his fist in relief when it fell.

 

 




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