Liselotte Neumann won her first LPGA Tour title in six years, holding off a late charge by Grace Park for a three-stroke victory at the LPGA Asahi Ryokuken International Championship yesterday in North Augusta, S.C.
Neumann, the 1988 U.S. Women's Open champion, had come into the week with few expectations. Even her name on caddie Mark Scott's vest was incorrectly spelled, "Newmann." But with a final-round 68 and a 15-under 273 total, she won for the first time since 1998.
The victory didn't come easily. Park, who also closed with a 68, cut Neumann's four-shot lead to a stroke twice on the back nine. But each time, Neumann held off the challenge.
"I'm so relieved and so happy," Neumann said. "I don't even know what else to say."
Laura Davies (70), Kris Tschetter (70) and Silvia Cavalleri (66) tied for third at 10 under.
Neumann said after the third round she wasn't sure if she would laugh or cry if she was victorious. In the end, she did both.
When her final putt dropped, the 38-year-old Swedish star raised her arms in victory, a wide grin on her face. She wiped away tears after hugging her caddie and then, as she made her way to the scoring tent, was doused with champagne by friend and fellow tour player Sherri Steinhauer.
* PGA TOUR: Andre Stolz played like a veteran instead of a struggling rookie when it counted most, shooting a 5-under 67 to win the Michelin Championship in Las Vegas by a shot over Tom Lehman and two others.
Stolz two-putted from 45 feet on the final hole to win for the first time on the PGA Tour and turn what had been a dismal season into a triumphant success.
The Australian, who had made only $88,373 all year, made a crucial birdie putt on the 16th hole and then parred the last two holes to collect the $720,000 winner's check and gain a tour exemption for the next two years.
"It's pretty awesome," said Stolz, who didn't make a bogey in the final round. "I told my wife last night I had a feeling I was going to win."
Tag Ridings, who tied the course record with a final-round 61, tied for second along with Lehman (69) and Harrison Frazar (67).
* EUROPEAN TOUR: Stephen Gallacher won for the first time on the tour, beating Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell on the first playoff hole at the Dunhill Links Championship in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Gallacher, a Scotsman, earned the milestone victory at St. Andrews, the home of golf, in his 188th European Tour event. He had twice finished second.
"I've been knocking on the door with everyone telling me to do it, so to actually go out and do it brings me so much pleasure," he said. "Hopefully, now I can go out and win again."
Gallacher and McDowell totaled 269 in regulation to finish a shot ahead of European Ryder Cup players Ian Poulter (69) and Luke Donald (71). Two more Englishmen followed at 272 -- defending champion Lee Westwood (67) and David Howell (71). Ernie Els (70) and Fred Couples (69) were at 274.
Top-ranked Vijay Singh finished with a 2-under 70 for 277.
* CHAMPIONS TOUR: Larry Nelson rallied from far off the lead and made a five-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Hale Irwin and win the Administaff Small Business Classic in Spring, Tex.
Nelson, who started the final round seven shots back, closed with an 8-under 64 and tied Irwin (67) at 14-under 202, winning his second Champions Tour event of the year and 19th overall.
Peter Jacobsen just missed getting into the playoff. The U.S. Senior Open champion made bogey at the 18th after driving into the water. He finished with a 67 and tied second-round leader Wayne Levi (72) for third at 203.