Steve Flesch shot a 1-over-par 73 yesterday and beat Michael Allen by two shots to win the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship at Verona, N.Y., the lefthander's second PGA Tour victory in two months.
Flesch had an 18-under 270 total and won $1.08 million, boosting his earnings for 2007 to $2.2 million and vaulting him from 70th on the money list into the top 30. He also earned a spot in the US Open next year as a multiple winner since the last Open.
For Flesch, who began the day with a four-shot lead over Carl Pettersson and Charles Warren, it was his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour and marked the third straight time he's won after holding the 54-hole lead. The third-round leader has won five of the last eight events on the PGA Tour, dating to Flesch's victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open in August.
It was a banner day, nonetheless, for the 48-year-old Allen (68), who last year made his 13th trip to the Q-school finals and earned his PGA Tour card for a record ninth time. Although Allen failed to get his first victory, he earned $648,000, boosting his earnings to a career-high $960,297, inside the top 100 on the money list.
John Senden (67) and rookie John Mallinger (68) tied for third at 15 under, one shot ahead of Pettersson (73), Tommy Armour (68), Mathew Goggin (69), Charley Hoffman (69) and rookie Parker McLachlin (71).
Warren (74) and Bill Haas (71), who began the tournament ranked 126th on the money list, finished in a tie for 10th at 13 under.
It wasn't difficult to figure out how Flesch won. Over the first three rounds, he reached 51 of 54 greens in regulation, hit 32 of 42 fairways, made 14 putts of more than 10 feet, and was 11 under on the more difficult back nine, including a course-record 30 Friday that included four birdies and an eagle. That put him at 19 under and tied the PGA Tour's lowest 54-hole score in relation to par this year.
Flesch made seven straight pars and bogeyed two of his last three holes during the final round, but still won without much of a challenge.
Champions - At Cary, N.C., Mark Wiebe became the 12th player to win in his first start on the 50-and-over circuit, leading wire-to-wire in a record-setting victory in the SAS Championship.
Wiebe, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, closed with a 5-under 67 for a tournament record 18-under 198 total on the Prestonwood Country Club course. He beat Rehoboth's Dana Quigley by four strokes to take the $300,000 first-place check.
Wiebe matched Bobby Wadkins as the tour's youngest winner at 50 years 10 days. He also became the first player to win on a sponsor exemption since Christy O'Connor Jr. in the 1999 State Farm Senior Classic. Mark McNulty was the last player to win in his first Champions Tour start, taking the 2004
Quigley shot a 69. Two-time SAS champion Bruce Lietzke and Keith Fergus had 67s to tie for third at 13 under.
European - At Sutton Coldfield, England, Lee Westwood won the British Masters for his second victory of the season and 18th overall in Europe, closing with a 7-under 65 for a five-stroke victory over fellow Englishman Ian Poulter.
Westwood, the Andalucian Open winner in May, made a 40-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and a 30-footer for eagle on the 17th. He had 15-under 273 total at The Belfry.
Poulter, one stroke behind with three holes to play, finished with a 70.