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Monday, August 21, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Golf Roundup: Hurst bags LPGA Safeway Classic title

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PORTLAND — American Pat Hurst watched with no expression as Jeong Jang prepared to putt on the 18th hole Sunday.

Hurst already had wrapped up her round at the Safeway Classic, a 4-under-par 68 that gave her the lead in the LPGA Tour event.

Jang was a shot back, but her birdie putt was from less than 18 feet. If the South Korea native made it, a playoff would be necessary.

"I kept thinking I didn't want to miss on the low side," Jang said. "But I did."

Jang finished with a 70 for a 9-under 207 at Columbia Edgewater Golf Club, and was the runner-up at the tournament for the third time — one shot behind Hurst.

"I just keep trying and keep trying," Jang said.

Kim Saiki shot a 67 on the 6,377-yard course to finish tied with Jang. Saiki was also second in Portland to Chris Johnson in 1997.

Hall of Famer Juli Inkster had a 70 to finish two strokes back at 208.

Hurst earned $210,000.

"I had a pretty hot start," she said. "I birdied three of the first four holes, I think, and I just kept it steady after that."

Actually, she birdied four of the first five holes and wasn't hurt by three bogeys after starting the day in a group one stroke behind the leaders.

It was Hurst's fifth victory on the LPGA Tour and first since last year's State Farm Classic.

She lost to Annika Sorenstam in an 18-hole playoff at this year's U.S. Women's Open.

Hurst, the 1995 rookie of the year, has been playing solidly this season, with seven top-10 finishes.

Jang was in a four-way tie for the lead after two rounds. The others who shared the lead after 36 holes struggled — Morgan Pressel shot a 74, and Jenna Daniels and Candie Kung had 77s.

Amateur Paige Mackenzie, a former Washington Huskies standout from Yakima, closed with a 75 and tied for 45th place at 217.

Other tournaments

Craig Bowden made a par on the first playoff hole to beat Jess Daley, a Kentwood High School graduate, in the Nationwide Tour's Northeast Pennsylvania Classic in Moosic.

Bowden, seven shots back at the start of the final round, shot an 8-under 63 — finishing with an eagle and birdie — for a 16-under 268 total. Third-round leader Daley birdied the final hole for a 70 to force the playoff.

Daley missed a 4-foot par putt on the first extra hole, setting up Bowden's winning putt from 2 feet. Bowden earned $85,500, compared with $51,300 for Daley.

• Spain's Alejandro Canizares won the Russian Open by four strokes for his first European Tour title, closing with a 6-under 66 for a tournament-record 22-under 266 in Nakhabino. David Drysdale of Scotland shot a 69 and finished second.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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