Foremost Insurance Championship
Foremost Insurance Championship
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O'Connor fires a 68 to win by four strokes

Christy O'Connor shot a 4-under-par 68 today to win the Senior PGA Tour's Foremost Insurance Championship by four strokes, finishing the 54-hole tournament at 11-under 205.

Jim Thorpe, John Jacobs and 1998 champion George Archer tied for second. Thorpe matched O'Connor's final-round 68, while Jacobs and Archer both shot 70s.

O'Connor, a native of Galway, Ireland, who won the British Senior Open three weeks ago at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, opened today's final round tied with South African John Bland.

The victory was O'Connor's second on the Senior PGA Tour this season. He also won the State Farm Senior Classic in early July. The victory also increased his year's earnings to more than $500,000 and moved him into the top 20 on the tour's money list.

"I am so, so happy. I don't think I've been so happy in my whole life," said O'Connor, who bogeyed the final hole to miss his personal goal of closing with a 67.

"I would have been happy here with a top-15 finish," he said. "I concentrated today on hitting the ball to the proper side of the pin so that I would be putting uphill."

O'Connor sealed his victory with an eagle on the 518-yard, par-5 17th hole at Egypt Valley Country Club. A driver and a 5-wood left him with a 12-foot putt for eagle.

"I thought when I first came over here that the (American) players would be more used to faster greens than I would be," O'Connor said. "As the greens get quicker, and they did get quicker out here, you can't charge your putts. I kept lagging my putts, but you can hole one if you go that way."

Thorpe, who opened with birdies on three of the first four holes, birdied the final two holes to finish in the tie for second.

"I feel like I could have done better because I got off to such a good start," Thorpe said. "I hit good shots, but I just didn't capitalise on the birdie (opportunities). I am very, very pleased. I shouldn't have made a bogey all week," added Thorpe, who joined the Senior PGA Tour this year.

"This is still a learning process for me though. I'm seeing a lot of golf courses that I never saw before."

Jacobs posted two birdies and 16 pars in his final round.

"This golf course is great. I wish I had grown up on a golf course like this," Jacobs said. "How can I like a course though, and never play well there? Christy is a good player though. He is perfect for the senior tour because he is a straight driver and good putter."

 

AP


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