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Toms, DiMarco advance to final


Chris Di Marco pumps his fist after making a birdie chip on the 14th hole during his semifinal victory over Retief Goosen Saturday.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Chris Di Marco pumps his fist after making a birdie chip on the 14th hole during his semifinal victory over Retief Goosen Saturday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

The stars are gone from the Match Play Championship.

The Stars & Stripes are doing just fine.

David Toms hit one spectacular shot after another to pull away from Ian Poulter, making back-to-back eagles by holing out from the 10th fairway and hitting 5-wood into 2 feet on the par-5 11th. Toms, who hit every approach shot within 12 feet over the final eight holes, won 3 and 2.

Chris DiMarco recovered from an awful start to beat U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, chipping in for birdie from behind the 14th green for the second time Saturday and winning, 2 and 1.

After 62 matches crammed in over three days, their victories Saturday afternoon set up an All-American final for the fourth consecutive year at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif.

In the quarterfinals earlier, DiMarco defeated Stewart Cink, 2 and 1; Goosen beat Robert Allenby, 4 and 3; Poulter topped Nick O’Hern, 3 and 1; and Toms edged Adam Scott, 2 and 1.

Toms and DiMarco will play a 36-hole final today with $1.3 million on the line.

Two-time defending champion Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh were long gone. Their absence left no shortage of sensational golf, particularly from Toms.

He was all square with Poulter, a roller-coaster match in which only two of the first eight holes were halved, when Toms delivered a memorable string of shots.

First came a 5-wood from 192 yards that stopped 4 feet away on the 467-yard ninth, which played as a par 4 for the first time this week. Then he took a little off a 9-iron shot from 123 yards in the 10th fairway that spun back into the cup for birdie. And from 235 yards on the par-5 11th, Toms hit another 5-wood that stopped 2 feet away.

Suddenly, he was 3 up against Poulter and headed for the finals for the second time in three years. Toms lost to Woods two years ago, but he has never felt this good about his game.

PGA Tour

Kevin Na and Geoff Ogilvy, looking for their first PGA Tour wins, shared first place after the third round of the Chrysler Classic of Tucson (Ariz.), an event known for producing first-time winners.

Na and Ogilvy stepped up when second-round leader Mark Calcavecchia faltered.

Na had a 7-under-par 65 and Ogilvy shot 67 to finish tied at 18-under 198.

Doug Barron was a shot back after carding a 67. Calcavecchia, who lost three shots to par in two holes on the back nine, had a 71 and was tied with Lucas Glover (69) at 200.

Darron Stiles (67), Brent Geiberger (69) and Joe Ogilvie (69) were three shots off the pace, with Billy Mayfair in a group of seven at 202.

LPGA Tour

Michelle Wie made a strong run at her first LPGA Tour victory, finishing two strokes behind Jennifer Rosales, who went wire-to-wire for a victory in the season-opening SBS Open at Kahuku, Hawaii.

Wie started the day five strokes behind Rosales, then shot her third straight 70 to finish tied for second at 210. Playing on her home island of Oahu, the 15-year-old Wie was trying to become the youngest golfer to win an LPGA event. She had to settle for her best finish in 18 LPGA starts. She was the only player to shoot under par for three rounds.

Rosales shot a 1-over-par 73 and picked up her second tour win by finishing at an 8-under 208 on the wind-swept Palmer Course. Cristie Kerr shot a final-round 72 to tie Wie for second.

Champions Tour

John Harris finished a 6-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Hale Irwin after the opening round of the rain-delayed Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am at Lutz, Fla.

Harris was among three golfers at 4-under when play was stopped Friday because of lightning and heavy rain. He birdied his first three holes when the round resumed to go 7-under through 14 holes.

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