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Pavin's putting is money in the bank

Corey Pavin found the winning formula again: precise putting, a lucky bounce, and his old caddie to show him the way.

The 46-year-old Pavin won his first PGA Tour title in 10 years yesterday, closing with a 3-under-par 67 for a two-stroke victory over Madison, Wis., native Jerry Kelly in the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.

Pavin, whose last win came in the 1996 Colonial, earned his 15th Tour victory by averaging just 26.5 putts per round and getting a timely eagle on the par-4 eighth. He finished with a 20-under 260 total.

Kelly also closed with a 67. Jeff Sluman (64) was 17 under. Frank Lickliter (69) and D.J. Trahan (69) followed at 15 under.

Pavin, who also won the tournament 20 years ago, became the eighth two-time champion in Milwaukee and received $720,000. He reunited with longtime caddie Eric Schwarz earlier this month in Connecticut at the Buick Championship, and his once-accurate putting stroke returned.

``In Hartford, his alignment was real bad," Schwarz said. ``It took about two, three hours to get him straightened out."

Did it ever.

While Kelly said he wanted to go head-to-head with the leader in the final round, Pavin seemed like an unlikely candidate, ranking 194th in driving distance and 175th in putting on Tour.

But the 1995 US Open winner scorched the short 6,759-yard Brown Deer Park Golf Course early with a PGA Tour-record 26 on the par-34 front nine Thursday with just 10 putts. He finished the first round with a 61 and shot a 64 in the second to reach 15 under and tie the Tour scoring record for the first 36 holes at 125.

``Corey had success because he kept it in play," Sluman said. ``I think after three rounds, he had 17 less putts than me. If you putt like that, you can't hit it bad enough not to have a great tournament."

Champions -- Loren Roberts squandered a five-stroke lead, then won a sudden-death playoff over Eduardo Romero to capture the Senior British Open in Turnberry, Scotland.

They went to the playoff after they finished tied at 6-under-par 274. Roberts shot 75 in the final round, Romero 71.

They returned to the 18th tee for the playoff and, with Roberts needing three shots to reach the green, Romero, who made it in two, appeared to be in position to win. But he misread his 30-foot putt and left the ball 4 feet from the hole.

Roberts holed a 12-footer for par and Romero missed his short putt for a bogey to hand the title to the American.

Roberts was ahead by four strokes going into the final round and his lead was five when Romero bogeyed the opening hole. The Argentine cut into the lead with four birdies in six holes by the 10th and, although Romero had four bogeys in five holes on the back nine, Roberts double-bogeyed 14 and 16.

Nationwide -- Kevin Johnson of Pembroke won the Wichita Open for his fourth career Nationwide title, closing with a 5-under 66 for a one-stroke victory over PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar (68) in Wichita, Kan.

The 39-year-old Johnson had an 18-under 266 total on the Crestview Country Club course and earned $90,000 to jump from 139th to 29th on the money list with $104,886. The top 20 at the end of the season will earn 2007 PGA Tour cards.

European -- Robert Karlsson won the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship in Alveslohe, Germany, by four strokes -- over Charl Schwartzel (67) and Lee Westwood (69) -- after shooting a 5-under 67 in the final round for a 25-under 263 total, a record for the event.

Curtis Cup -- In Bandon, Ore., Jennie Lee beat Melissa Reid, 3 and 2, to clinch the United States' fifth straight Curtis Cup victory, an 11 1/2-6 1/2 decision over Britain and Ireland in the biennial amateur women's competition.

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