The American Steve Stricker and unknown Frenchman Christian Cavaer enjoyed memorable weekends by winning when it mattered the most for them. While Stricker held his nerve in a play-off at the Colonial Open tournament in Texas, Cevaer came out a surprise victor of the European Open in trying conditions that tested some big names. Stricker's triumph saw him move up from 13th to eighth in the world while Cavaer made a massive jump from 449th to 129th.
Stricker won on the second extra hole to lift the Crowne Plaza Invitational after a three-way play-off on Sunday. He came up with a birdie at the crucial moment to pip Steve Marino and Tim Clark; the latter led by two shots with five holes of his final round to play. The South African had gone into the fourth round with a two-shot lead and looked set for his first PGA Tour victory. But, after bogeying the 14th, he dropped another shot on the last for a level-par 70. That put him level with Stricker and Marino, who both shot 68s, at 17 under.
Clark had his chance again at the first extra hole but he missed a short putt and saw his luck take a turn for the worse at the second when his approach hit the flag and rolled away. A missed birdie chance opened the door for Stricker. It was the seventh time Clark has finished as a runner-up on the PGA Tour, and the second time in as many years at the Texas tournament. Australian Jason Day finished fourth after a final-round 69 while new world No 3 Paul Casey followed up his BMW PGA Championship triumph with fifth place.
The Englishman birdied his first three holes on the way to a four-under-par 66 - his third of the tournament - for a final score of 15 under. * PA