Weibring birdies last three holes to claim 3M Championship

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August 05, 2007
PGA TOUR staff

BLAINE, Minn. (AP) -- Smart course management on the final hole gave D.A. Weibring the 3M Championship Sunday.

Weibring birdied the last three holes en route to a 5-under 67 and a three-day total of 18-under 198. Jay Haas shot a 9-under 63 to finish one shot back.

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
WEIBRING'S FINAL STATS
Category Total Rank
Eagles 0 N/A
Birdies 22 1
Pars 28 T73
Bogeys 4 T53
Double Bogeys 0 N/A
Other 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 88.1% T15
Driving Distance 282.5 yds. 35
Greens in Regulation 77.8% T19
Putts per Round 26.0 1
Putts per GIR 1.548 1
Sand Saves 100.0% T1

"It's great to be back in the winner's circle. It's been a long time since I've won," said Weibring, who was 8 under on the final three holes during the three-day tournament. His last win was the 2005 Bruno's Memorial Classic.

Mitch Adams also shot a 63 to finish two shots back at 16 under, his best finish in three years as a professional. Local favorite John Harris, from Edina, Minn., shot 66 to also finish at 16 under.

Tom Jenkins and Jim Thorpe finished at 15 under. Thorpe eagled the last hole and Jenkins made a 53-foot birdie.

Standing in the 18th fairway, Weibring knew he needed a birdie to win the title, but he had a tough lie and a little mud on the ball. He quickly remembered last year when he went for eagle on the 582-yard par 5 and his second shot ended up in the water hazard in front of the green.

This year he played it safe by hitting left of the water, pitched the ball to about 10 feet and made the putt.

"It didn't make sense for me to hit the 3-wood where the worst-case scenario if I lay up is I play a wedge shot and I'm going to get within 15 feet," said Weibring, who finished sixth and eighth in the tournament the past two years.

A calm day and soft greens following Saturday's light rain led to much lower scores. Thirty-one players broke 70 Sunday, compared with 14 Saturday.

"There's a 63 or 64 everyday on this tour," Harris said.

Entering the day with a one-shot lead over Thorpe, Weibring was 15 under through the 15th hole when Haas finished his round at 17 under.

Weibring birdied the par-4 16th and put his tee shot at the par-3 17th about 3 feet from the hole.

"It has a perfect 5-iron for me," he said. "I hit the shot exactly as I saw it in my mind."

Haas began the day five shots off the lead, but quickly moved into contention by shooting 4 under on the front side. In addition to birdies at Nos. 12, 14 and 18, he eagled the 15th hole from 180 yards out.

"I hit a 5-iron thin. It wasn't an awful shot. Those usually go on the green, but certainly not the hole. I thought it stopped 5 or 6 feet from the hole. When they cheered because it went in the hole I was pretty shocked. I felt like it was my day if that one went in," said Haas, who lowered his cap to cover his face, almost as if he was embarrassed. "It was one shot I got away with."

Playing in the group in front of Haas, Chip Beck, who finished at 12 under, also eagled the 15th hole. His shot was from 158 yards.

Adams, who had a 65 in Tuesday's qualifier to get into the tournament, birdied the first four holes to get to 11 under, and finished the front side with a 6-under 30, the lowest nine-hole score in the seven years the tournament has been played at the TPC Twin Cities.

"He dead-flushed every 3-wood, iron and he rolled the ball well," said Haas, who played with Adams.

In his third year as a professional, and first year on the Champions Tour, Adams birdied Nos. 11, 16 and 18 on the back side, the last after hitting his 5-wood about 260 yards off the grandstand and back onto the green.

"That was probably the furthest 5-wood I've ever hit," said Adams, whose best finish in six previous Champions Tour events this year was a tie for 37th at the Regions Charity Classic in mid-May.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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