Golf notebook: Stenson felt he had shot at Open

2013-07-22T00:00:00Z Golf notebook: Stenson felt he had shot at OpenThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

GULLANE, Scotland - Even after he made back-to-back bogeys to fall out of a tie for the lead, Henrik Stenson never thought he was out of the British Open.

Ian Poulter had posted a 1-over 285, and Stenson was 1 over with five holes to play.

He just had no idea Phil Mickelson in the group ahead of him was piling up so many birdies down the stretch Sunday at Muirfield.

"All of a sudden, I saw he was 2 under and I was three back with only two holes to go," Stenson said. "So I said to my caddie when I made the birdie on 17, 'Maybe I can hole the second shot on 18 and get into a playoff.'"

Wishful thinking. Stenson could hear the crowd roar for another Mickelson birdie on the 18th that put Lefty at 3-under 281. The Swede with the slick sense of humor turned to his caddie again and told him, "A hole-in-one is pushing it, I think."

Stenson finished strong with a par, and his consolation prize was a silver medal. He closed with a 70 to finish three shots behind, alone in second place, for his best finish in a major. Stenson twice tied for third in the Open.

This time, he has a serious contender, one of four players to have at least a share of the lead on Sunday at Muirfield.

"Very happy with the performance," Stenson said. "We're getting closer. I've got two thirds and now a second. We all know what we're longing for."

LPGA

SYLVANIA, Ohio - Spain's Beatriz Recari outdueled Paula Creamer in a head-to-head battle to win the Marathon Classic for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and third overall.

Recari and Creamer, who won the tournament then known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic five years ago, started the day tied for first, three shots ahead of their nearest pursuers. They traded the lead but were still even until Recari birdied the par-3 14th.

The 26-year-old Recari closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 17-under 267. Creamer finished with a 67.

PGA

MADISON, Miss. - Woody Austin won the Sanderson Farms Classic for his first PGA Tour victory since 2007, beating Cameron Beckman and Daniel Summerhays with an 8-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.

The 49-year-old Austin is the eighth-oldest winner in PGA Tour history and the oldest since Fred Funk at 50 in 2007.

Austin was making his fourth PGA Tour start of the year. He has four career victories.

Austin came into the final round two shots behind Summerhays and Nicholas Thompson, but made up ground with a 5-under 67 to finish at 20-under 268. Beckman and Summerhays both birdied No. 18 to match Austin, and Beckman missed a 5-foot putt that would have forced a second playoff hole.

Beckman shot 67, and Summerhays had a 69.

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