Despite failing to keep his PGA Tour card the last two years, Olin Browne never doubted he could still compete with the best players. Now he has a victory to show for it, closing with a 4-under 67 yesterday to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass.
Browne emerged from a five-way tie for the lead to build a three-shot advantage on the back nine. And with Jason Bohn closing fast, he holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to restore his cushion.
Bohn needed an eagle on the par-5 18th to force a playoff, but his fairway metal from the right rough sailed to the right of the green, and his chip never had a chance. Bohn settled for a birdie and a 68 to finish one shot behind. "It's been so long," said Browne, who won for the first time since the 1999 Colonial. "I'm speechless."
Browne finished at 14-under 270 and earned $990,000, more than he had made in any of his 11 previous years on the PGA Tour. More importantly, it gave the 46-year-old Browne a two-year exemption on tour.
Reno-Tahoe Open champion Vaughn Taylor shot a 68 to finish third at 10-under 274. Charles Howell III had a 67 and joined three others who finished another shot behind.
Tiger Woods, the first-round leader, was never a factor over the final three days. He shot a 71 to tie for 40th.
* EQUESTRIAN: An Olympic showjumper lost his appeal of a drug disqualification that cost Germany the team gold medal in Athens.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, upheld a Jan. 6 decision by the International Equestrian Federation that found Ludger Beerbaum and his horse, Goldfever 3, guilty of a doping offense. The horse tested positive for the steroid betamethasone in Athens.
The international federation stripped Germany of the title, giving the gold to the United States. Sweden moved up to silver and Germany dropped to bronze.
The court, the highest for world sports, said Beerbaum made a mistake by administering a medication with a prohibited substance. The court added that it makes no difference whether "the ingestion of that substance was intentional or negligent and irrespective of the effect of that substance on the performance."
Beerbaum has denied cheating, saying the substance was in an ointment used to treat a skin irritation on the horse.
"I didn't believe it at first, although it was expected," Beerbaum said after the court verdict. "But you always have a glimmer of hope. What really hurts is that other riders also have to give back their gold medals."
The federation acknowledged the substance was connected to a legitimate medical treatment and Goldfever 3 received no competitive advantage.
Beerbaum "could and should have sought authorization for the use of the substance," the federation said.
* COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Georgetown sophomore place kicker Eric Bjonerud (Georgetown Prep) was named the Patriot League special teams player of the week. Bjonerud's 33-yard field goal in overtime lifted the Hoyas to a 19-16 win against Bucknell on Saturday.
-- From News Services
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