Former Gator DiMarco wins Abu Dhabi tourney
Published: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Former Gator Chris DiMarco won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Sunday for his first victory since 2002, closing with a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over third-round leader Henrik Stenson.
DiMarco, the 37-year-old American who lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff in the Masters last year, finished with a 20-under 268 total. The PGA Tour player earned $334,000 from the $2 million purse in the PGA European Tour event.
"This is four years to the month that I have not been in the winner's circle," said DiMarco, who won the Phoenix Open in 2002. "This is an unbelievable field this week."
Stenson, who shot a 69, birdied the final hole to claim second place ahead of Sergio Garcia.
Loren Roberts made a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a course-record 11-under 61 and a one-stroke victory over Don Pooley in the Tour's season-opening MasterCard Championship.
The 50-year-old Roberts - called the "Boss of the Moss" because of his brilliant putting touch - had a 25-under 191 total on the Hualalai course to shatter the Champions Tour record for relation to par in a 54-hole event and tie the stroke mark.
Annika Sorenstam eagled the par-5 14th hole and offset a poor round by teammate Liselotte Neumann to lead Sweden to a three-stroke victory.
Scotland was second and Wales third. The United States, with Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis each shooting a 1-over-par 73, was fourth, eight strokes behind the Swedes.
Chris Rodgers of England shot even-par 72 to win his first Asian Tour title.
Birdies on the 11th and 15th holes helped sealed the win.
DiMarco recorded a final round of 67 to edge Sweden's Henrik Stenson by one shot.
Stenson said missing a par putt on No. 9 and three-putting the 10th was the turning point.
"I kept on trying all the way and couldn't get close enough," Stenson said. "And the greens are very tricky to read. Chris got off to a flying start, just kept it together and pretty much finished it off with a birdie on 16."
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