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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Garcia emerges victorious

Associated Press

Sergio Garcia separated himself from a pack of contenders to master Congressional’s Blue Course as few others have, closing with a 6-under 65 for a two-stroke victory in the Booz Allen Classic at Bethesda, Md.

Garcia looked in major form in the final tournament before the U.S. Open when he took a big lead with a front-nine 30 and then held steady through a few precarious holes down the stretch. He finished with a 14-under 270 total.

Davis Love III (66), Ben Crane (67) and 2004 winner Adam Scott (68) tied for second.

Garcia’s 270 total tied the course record at Congressional, which wasn’t its usual fearsome self in its first PGA Tour event in eight years. Craig Stadler shot a 10-under 270 when the Booz Allen, then known as the Kemper Open, was played on the Blue Course in a different configuration in 1981.

Third-round leader Tom Kite, attempting to become the oldest winner in PGA Tour history at age 55, shot a 74 to tie for 13th at 7-under 277.

Garcia’s sixth PGA Tour victory helped compensate for his collapse in last month’s Wachovia Championship, when the 25-year-old Spanish star blew a six-shot lead in the final round before losing to Vijay Singh in a three-way playoff. Garcia also won the Buick Classic last year the week before the U.S. Open.

Champions Tour

Gil Morgan and Dana Quigley, the leaders in the clubhouse when rain suspended play, will have to wait until this afternoon to find out whether they’ll meet in a sudden-death playoff in the Bayer Advantage Classic at Overland Park, Kan.

When the storm system that has plagued the tournament all week forced the suspension Sunday, three players were still on the course within three strokes of the leaders in the Champions Tour event.

Morgan, with an early tee time, shot a 5-under 68 and Quigley came in a short time later with a 66, tying him with Morgan at 11-under 133.

European Tour

Spanish rookie Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano won his first European PGA Tour title, shooting a 3-under 67 for a two-stroke victory over England’s Gary Emerson in the KLM Open at Hilversum, Netherlands.

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