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Monday, October 29, 2007

Thorpe Wins Charles Schwab Championship

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[October 29, 2007]  SONOMA, Calif. (AP) -- Jim Thorpe successfully defended his title in the Charles Schwab Championship, birdieing the final four holes Sunday to win the Champion Tour's season-ending event for the third time in five years.

Thorpe, who edged Tom Jenkins by $4,079 for the 30th and last spot in the field, shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 20-under 268, three strokes ahead of Denis Watson and Fred Funk. It was Thorpe's 13th tour victory and first since the 2006 event.

Watson, the leader heading into the final round, struggled with his tee shots for the second straight day, finishing with a 70. Funk matched Thorpe with a 66, but couldn't overcome an opening-round 70 that dropped him six strokes behind the leaders.

Five of the last six players on the course were within two shots of one another with four holes to go before Thorpe took over.

He made a 17-foot putt for birdie on No. 15 to reach 17 under, and added a 6-footer for birdie on No. 16. Thorpe's tee shot on the 142-yard, par-3 17th stopped 5 feet from the cup, setting up another birdie.

A day after carding a double bogey on the 18th when he tried to play it cautiously, Thorpe took an aggressive approach and landed his approach 6 feet above the pin. He made it easily for birdie, his seventh of the afternoon, as the crowd cheered.

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Loren Roberts, meanwhile, held on to win the Charles Schwab Cup competition for a $1 million annuity, shooting a 66 to tie for 13th at 11 under.

Roberts, who lost the points title to Jay Haas in 2006 after missing a short putt on the final hole of the season-ending tournament, was in jeopardy of losing to Haas again after three sub-par rounds, but did just enough Sunday to win. He tied for 13th, while Haas (73) tied for 20th at 6 under.

Brad Bryant, who could have moved past Roberts for the points championship had he won the final tournament, was within one shot of the leaders at the turn, but had four bogeys on the back nine to drop out of the hunt. His 73 left him at 13 under.

[The Associated Press]

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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