Date: January 21, 2008

Trahan takes out classic

DJ Trahan shot a seven-under-par final round of 65 to claw back a four-stroke deficit and win the Bob Hope classic by three shots from Justin Leonard on Sunday (US time) as Steve Elkington finished in a tie for fifth. Trahan finished with a winning score of 26-under-par as fourth-round leader Leonard could only shoot an even-par 72 after playing the back nine in three-over. The 1997 Open champion blew the chance to claim his 12th career victory after carding consecutive bogeys at the start of the back nine, losing his four-shot advantage by the 11th hole. Kenny Perry and Anthony Kim finished four strokes back in third after the pair both finished with rounds of 66. “I&aposm very proud of the way I played,” Trahan said. “I knew it was going to be a hard-fought day. I had to go out there and shoot a low number and I did that.” Trahan had failed to make the cut in two previous appearances at the five-round, pro-am event and managed only one score in the 60s in eight rounds. His only other win was at the Southern Farm Bureau Classic in 2006. Leonard&aposs four-stroke advantage with 18 holes to play looked insurmountable, especially when he posted a three-under-par 33 on the front nine and was three strokes up with nine holes to play despite Trahan picking up birdies on four of the first six holes. The two were tied, however, after the 11th hole when Leonard made his second consecutive bogey after his approach shot landed in the right greenside bunker and he was unable to get up and down. Trahan took the lead on the par-five 14th when, after reaching the green in two, he stroked a 76-foot putt to within five feet of the hole and confidently knocked it in for a birdie. The one-stroke advantage remained until the 18th hole. Leonard knocked his drive into the water on the right while Trahan hit his on the fairway and made no mistake to wrap up a remarkable comeback. Elkington, meanwhile, finished off the tournament in style, carding a solid three-under 69 to be 21-under at the end of the five days. Elkington had a mixed opening after posting two birdies and two bogeys by the 12th, but he came home with a wet sail, knocking in three birdies in his final six holes to finish in a tie for fifth position. Compatriot Brett Rumford was a further two strokes adrift of Elkington after carding a two-under 70 on day five, finishing the tournament at 19-under overall, one stroke ahead of a fast finishing Robert Allenby (68). Further down the field, John Senden produced an impressive 16-under overall performance after carding a three-under 69 on the last day, finishing two strokes ahead of Matt Jones (72) and three ahead of Matthew Goggin (71), while Rod Pampling (72) finished the tournament at 11-under overall.