Originally created 07/23/01

Sluman beats Gow on second playoff hole



ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- Jeff Sluman made a 15-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Australian rookie Paul Gow to win the B.C. Open on Sunday.

After squandering a two-shot lead on the final hole of regulation, Sluman took advantage of Gow's misfortune on the second extra hole. Gow's tee shot hit a tree, bounced across the 18th fairway and rolled into a concrete, water-filled ditch.

With half his ball visible, Gow managed to chip it out of the ditch and into the middle of the fairway, but was forced to settle for a bogey when he missed a 15-foot putt to save par.

Leaving nothing to chance, Sluman sank the 15-footer for birdie to claim the $360,000 winner's check. It was Sluman's fifth PGA Tour victory and first since the 1999 Sony Open in Hawaii.

The win was extra-special for Sluman, who grew up in Rochester, about a three-hour drive away, and his first in 17 trips to the En-Joie Golf Course.

The two, who began the day as co-leaders at 16 under, shot 6-under 66s to finish at 22-under 266. Gow, who had never finished better than a tie for 16th this season, earned $216,000.

Jonathan Kaye shot a 67 to finish third at 269. Jay Haas (68) was fourth, four shot back, and Steve Pate (66) was fifth at 271.

After falling two shots back with a bogey on No. 17, Gow responded with a birdie on No. 18, set up when he landed his second shot 3 feet from the hole.

Sluman, meanwhile, bounced his second shot into the back rough. After chipping out his buried ball, Sluman failed to save par when he just missed an 8-foot putt.

On the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, Sluman scrambled to save par by sinking a 6-footer.

It was sweet redemption for Sluman, had not won a playoff in six previous opportunities. Last weekend in the Greater Milwaukee Open, Sluman was the third-round leader but shot even-par to tie for 10th.

Ty Tryon, the 17-year-old entering his junior year of high school in Orlando, Fla., finished with his best day since shooting 7 under to claim a share of the first-round lead.

Coming off two even-par efforts, Tryon shot a 70 to finish at 9-under 279. He tied for 37th, the lowest finish by an amateur in tournament history.

This was Tryon's second PGA Tour event after he qualified for the Honda Classic, where he tied for 39th last March.

"I know I could've shot a lot lower than that very easily," said Tryon said, whose final round featured five birdies and a bogey and double-bogey after spinning the ball into the water on No. 2. "I knew my game was a lot better than 2 under the last three days. That's a little agitating. But that's the way it goes."

Reminded that he's only 17, Tryon smiled and said: "I guess I can give myself a little leniency."

Stephen Ames, whose 63 was the low round of the day, climbed up to finish tied for sixth at 272.

Divots: Tryon was scheduled to compete in the Porter Cup in Niagara Falls, N.Y., which opens on Tuesday. His father, William Tryon III, said he will leave it up Ty, and whether he feels up to it. ... After shooting a 62 to claim a three-stroke second-round lead, Brett Quigley's inconsistencies continued. He shot even-par on Sunday to finish at 273 for the tournament and in a tie for 8th. ... Bobby Wadkins, playing in his final PGA Tour event before becoming eligible for the senior tour, finished at 7-under 288. Wadkins, who has never won since joining the tour 1975, turns 50 on Thursday.