Sluman holds it together, wins second GMO
by Arnie Stapleton
MILWAUKEE (AP) ? Jeff Sluman held it together this time on the final day of the Greater Milwaukee Open.
Sluman fired a 3-under-par 68 Sunday for a four-stroke victory over Tim Herron (66) and Steve Lowery (70).
His 23-under 261 total was one stroke shy of Loren Roberts' 72-hole GMO record set two years ago.
Last year, Sluman led going into Sunday but finished 10th. He also took the 54-hole lead in 1998, when he won his first GMO.
Kenny Perry (65) took fourth, one stroke ahead of Joey Sindelar, Greg Chalmers and J.P. Hayes, who finished six strokes back.
Sluman, who bettered Roberts' 54-hole record of 19-under with a 20-under 193, took a two stroke lead over Lowery into the final round Sunday.
He began his day with just his second bogey of the tournament, but followed with a birdie and made the turn at minus-23 with a four-stroke lead over Lowery.
On the 10th hole, a 447-yard, par-4, Lowery cut the deficit in half when he birdied and Sluman bogeyed. But he negated his gain with bogeys on Nos. 11 and 13.
Sluman went to 23-under with a birdie on the par-3 14th hole and played it safe the rest of the way.
After his birdie putt lipped out on 15, Sluman drove the ball into the trees on the right side on the par-4 16th hole, pitched to the fairway, hit a wedge within 10 feet and saved par.
On 18, he also hit it into the trees on the right, but again he saved par.
Sluman won a career-high paycheck of $558,000 out of the $3.1 million purse with his sixth PGA Tour victory.
Brown Deer's par-71 layout measuring 6,759 yards is one of the shortest on the PGA Tour and puts a premium on iron play and putting. While neutralizing the long hitters, Brown Deer serves as an enticing course to veterans long on patience.
Three of the top four finishers were in their 40s.
Herron, who's 32, said his second-place finish was much needed because his wife, Ann, is due to give birth to their first child next week.
"Now, I won't have too much pressure to get on the road to keep my (PGA Tour) card," Herron said.
Last year's winner, Shigeki Maruyama, finished in a tie for 21st.
Skip Kendall, who grew up near Brown Deer Park in Fox Point, hit a hole-in-one on the 215-yard, pary-3 seventh hole. than his Saturday score. ... Sluman is the sixth player to win the GMO more than once, joining Roberts, Dave Stockton, Dave Eichelberger, Calvin Peete and Scott Hoch. ... Sluman topped $1 million in earnings for the fourth time in his career. He is the 32nd player to top $1 million in earnings this season. His career earnings of $11,918,854 moved him into 16th all-time, surpassing Brad Faxon, David Toms and Payne Stewart.