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George McNeill of the USA birdied the last three holes to win the Puerto Rico Open at Trump International Golf Club by two shots from Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa.
Ishikawa closed with a 68 to post a clubhouse total of 14-under-par. At that point he was leading by one. But McNeill made his move late and with birdies on the 16th and 17th had taken the lead himself. He added one more birdie at the closing hole to win the event by two clear strokes.
"I was really nervous, but I knew what I had to do, and basically I just had to bear down and get it done," McNeill said. "If not, then somebody else was going to win. I was trying to basically have control of myself, and that's all I was looking for."
In finishing second Ishikawa has now earned over $580,000 on this year's PGA Tour. That makes him eligible for special temporary membership. He has 60 days to join the tour on that basis, at which point he could take unlimited sponsor's exemptions this season.
"Still thinking," Ishikawa said. "Need some time to think about it, but that's the direction I'll be aiming for."
It was another encouraging week for Henrik Stenson of Sweden. He closed with a 71 to finish tied for third with Boo Weekley.
Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com Trump International GC, Puerto Rico, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico Mar 8-11, purse $3,500,000 par 72
1 George McNeill (USA) 66 70 67 69 272 $630,000 2 Ryo Ishikawa (Jap) 70 67 69 68 274 $378,000 T3 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 70 69 65 71 275 $203,000 T3 Boo Weekley (USA) 70 68 71 66 275 $203,000 T5 Scott Brown (USA) 69 72 65 70 276 $133,000 T5 Matt Jones (Aus) 66 67 72 71 276 $133,000 T7 Kevin Stadler (USA) 69 69 66 73 277 $112,875 T7 Daniel Summerhays (USA) 68 70 68 71 277 $112,875 T9 Blake Adams (USA) 74 68 68 68 278 $94,500 T9 Graham DeLaet (Can) 69 70 68 71 278 $94,500 T9 Brandt Jobe (USA) 76 69 67 66 278 $94,500
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
Where next? WGC - Cadillac Championship: Justin Rose takes the title
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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