- The Washington Times - Monday, May 4, 2009

From combined dispatches

CHARLOTTE, N.C. | A narrow victory at Quail Hollow came with a large dose of redemption for Sean O’Hair.

Five weeks after he blew a five-shot lead against Tiger Woods at Bay Hill, O’Hair showed his mettle in hard, blustery conditions Sunday with a 3-under 69 and rallied to win the Quail Hollow Championship when no one could catch him.

Despite a bogey-bogey finish on the two hardest holes on the course, O’Hair was the only player in the final nine groups to break 70.

He took the lead on the 15th with a two-putt birdie from 70 feet, then holed a 7-foot birdie on the 16th to give him room for error on the frightening finishing holes.

O’Hair was on the putting green when Lucas Glover failed to make birdie from behind the 18th green that would have forced a playoff. Glover, who bogeyed the par-3 17th from right of the green, closed with a 71 and tied for second with Bubba Watson, who had a 70.

Woods struggled with his game throughout the final round, but he still had a chance to tie for the lead when he drove the par-4 14th green and had an eagle putt from just inside 25 feet. He three-putted for par, failed to birdie the par-5 15th and closing with 10 consecutive pars left him two shots behind with a 72.

Woods hung around long enough to congratulate O’Hair, who was holding 4-year-old daughter Molly.

“It feels so good, especially finishing the way I did,” O’Hair said. “I played so good on the back.”

He has been playing as well as anyone, but it was hard to forget his final round at Bay Hill. He had a five-shot lead over Woods, losing by one shot when Woods birdied the 18th hole.

Watson, who has never won on the PGA Tour or Nationwide Tour, was atop the leader board for most of the back nine until he couldn’t make the short putts required of champions. He missed from six feet for birdie on the 15th and the same distance on the 16th.

Glover also missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the 15th that ultimately cost him.

O’Hair allowed for a few nervous moments when he three-putted for bogey from 25 feet on the 18th. Playing in the final group, Glover’s approach bounded over the green, and his birdie chip came up short.

O’Hair won for the third time in his career and will move up to No. 12 in the world ranking, his highest position ever. He finished at 11-under 277 and earned $1.17 million, pushing him just short of $3 million for the year, more than he has ever made in any one season.

Levet takes Spanish Open

GIRONA, Spain | Thomas Levet became the first Frenchman to win five PGA European Tour titles, shooting a 4-under 68 to win the Spanish Open by two strokes over Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay.

American John Daly, who is serving a six-month suspension from the PGA Tour, closed with a 69 for his best round of the tournament. He tied for 31st at 3 under.

Leading Zanotti by one stroke, Levet had a birdie at No. 15 and added another at No. 17 to finish at 18-under 270.

He dedicated the victory to golf great Seve Ballesteros, who is battling cancer.

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