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Wetterich takes charge; Woods stumbles at end |

Wetterich takes charge; Woods stumbles at end

| Monday, September 3, 2007 12:00 a.m

NORTON, Mass. – Brett Wetterich emerged from the pack with a 15-foot eagle Sunday and held on for a 6-under 66, giving him a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship but no room for error.

The second straight week of these PGA Tour playoffs delivered a surprising leader in Wetterich, who has not been in serious contention since March. And it looks as if it will be the second straight week of a final round up for grabs among an All-Star cast of contenders.

Wetterich was at 13-under 200 and will play in the final pairing on Labor Day with Arron Oberholser, who had to scramble for par after hitting into the hazard on the 18th to shoot 66.

But of all the errors on the closing holes, perhaps the most significant belonged to Aaron Baddeley. He went for the green out of the bunker and wound up with a bogey, a shot that enabled Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to be paired in the second-to-last group.

Woods and Mickelson played together the first two days, and Lefty needled him again by noting that Butch Harmon pointed out a few habits by the world’s No. 1 player that made Mickelson chuckle.

Mickelson scrambled brilliantly throughout the sunny day, six times saving par with putts in the 6-foot range that kept his round together. He finished with a birdie on the 18th for a 68, putting him two shots behind at 202.

Another shot behind was Woods, the defending champion at Deutsche Bank who is making his first start in these playoffs. Woods was fuming as he left the 18th green with a 67, after three-putting the last two holes to spoil an otherwise solid day.


In Springfield, Ill., Sherri Steinhauer held off a late charge by Christina Kim for a one-stroke victory at the LPGA State Farm Classic.

The 44-year-old Steinhauer, who led after every round, finished at 17-under 271 for the four-day tournament at Springfield’s Panther Creek Country Club. The title is Steinhauer’s eighth in her 22 years on tour.

Kim tied for the lead briefly after holing the last of three closing birdies, a long putt from the fringe on the 18th that dropped her to 16-under.

Playing a hole behind Kim, Steinhauer answered minutes later, sinking a long birdie putt on the par-three 17th to get to 17-under. She scrambled for par at 18 to log her first tour title since the 2006 Women’s British Open. A shot from the bunker flew into the fringe, but Steinhauer sank the putt to grab the tournament’s $195,000 top prize.

Steinhauer shot a 5-under 67 and held off a pack of players who started the final round within three strokes of the lead.

European PGA

In Gleneagles, Scotland, Marc Warren birdied the second playoff hole to beat Simon Wakefield and become the first Scottish winner of the Johnnie Walker Championship.

Warren holed a birdie putt on the 18th at Gleneagles to finish with a 69 and get into a playoff with Wakefield, who shot a 70. Both finished at 12-under 280.

In the playoff, both got pars on the first hole. On the second, Warren set up his birdie with a putt from 60 feet that stopped within five feet of the cup.

The victory was the 25-year-old Scot’s second on the European Tour. Both have come on the second playoff hole.

Ladies European Tour

In Helsinki, Finland, Bettina Hauert claimed her second Ladies European Tour tournament, winning the Finnair Masters by three strokes despite shooting a 1-over 72 in the final round.

The 25-year-old German had a 6-under 207 total in the 54-hole event at Tali golf club.

Johanna Westerberg finished second, and Lotta Wahlin was a further shot back in third. Both Swedes closed with 70s.

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