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Golf

  • Hotel Fitness leader has inspired round
    Sam Saunders may be the grandson of one of the greatest golfers of all time – Arnold Palmer – but it was another grandfather, Robert, who was on the young Saunders’ mind as he shot a 6-under 66 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club on Friday.
  • Fort Wayne's Till loses in match play
    Albany's Goride Rees was down early to Fort Wayne's Sam Till in the finals of the IGA Senior Match Play Championship at Hillview CC but fought for a 2 & 1 victory.
  • Hotel Fitness field has its way on first day
      Ryan Blaum has the lead after the first day of the Hotel Fitness Championship – he shot an 8-under 64 Thursday at Sycamore Hills Golf Club – and he was excited to pull it off despite some struggles.
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Golf

U.S. Open champ grabs 1st PGA win

– For all the big moments in Graeme McDowell’s career, his résumé was short on PGA Tour victories.

McDowell relished what he called his first authentic tour win, defeating fellow U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson in a playoff at the RBC Heritage on Sunday.

McDowell’s been at the center of some of golf’s biggest moments, from his rousing triumph at Pebble Beach in 2010 to capturing the winning point for Europe in that year’s Ryder Cup matches. He has six European PGA victories, too, but he hadn’t triumphed in the weekly grind of the world’s top tour.

McDowell pushed forward on wind-blown Harbour Golf Links when his rivals were moving backward, unnerved by the 20 to 30 mph winds.

He rallied from four strokes down when the day began to take a one-shot lead into the 72nd hole. Then after he made his only bogey of the round to fall into tie with Simpson, two-putted from about 15 feet to make a par on the extra hole that Simpson couldn’t match.

“I guess the weather was what the doctor ordered. I needed that to get close to the leaders,” said McDowell, who earned $1,044,000 for the victory.

CHAMPIONS: In Duluth, Ga., Bernhard Langer added to his impressive season by shooting a 67 to win the inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship by three strokes. The 55-year-old Langer, who finished 10 under, had six birdies for his fifth top-three finish in six events.

EUROPEAN: In Valencia, Spain, Raphael Jacquelin of France won a record-tying playoff with a 5-foot birdie putt at the Spanish Open, edging Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer on their ninth try at the 18th hole. The only other European Tour event decided by a nine-hole playoff was the 1989 Dutch Open.

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