Lewis the Marathon Man


FARMINGTON, Pa. -- J.L. Lewis fired a course-record 10-under 62 Sunday to win the 84 Lumber Classic of Pennsylvania by two strokes. Lewis, who trailed the leader by seven shots entering the final round, finished the event at 22-under-par 266.
'I'm elated. When I started this tournament, I had aspirations of doing well, but I didn't know it was going to be this good,' said Lewis, who picks up $720,000 for the win. 'I'm sure glad we came. The course is in as good of condition as it could be in. I had fun out there today.'
Frank Lickliter II posted a 6-under 66 to share second place with Stuart Appleby and Tim Petrovic, who both notched 5-under 67s in the final round. That trio finished at 20-under-par 268.
The third and fourth rounds were both completed on Sunday. No golf was played Friday after Hurricane Isabel drenched the Mystic Rock Course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa and rendered it unplayable.
Lewis, who shared second place last week at the John Deere Classic, posted a 4-under 68 in the third round to move to minus-12. He quickly caught fire on his second 18 holes. He rolled home a birdie on the second and followed with an eagle on the fourth, when he holed a sand-wedge from the fairway.
The 43-year-old came right back to birdie No. 5 to get to 16 under. He birdied the ninth to close out his first nine at 5 under.
Around the turn, Lewis kept climbing the leaderboard. He birdied the par-5 11th and followed with another at the next that got him to 19 under and gave him a share of the lead.
'I was just out there thinking, you've got to get to at least 20 or 21 under to have a chance,' said Lewis, who picks up his second PGA Tour victory. 'The greens are soft and it seems like guys seemed to make more birdies at the end.'
Lickliter, playing ahead of Lewis, birdied the 17th to become the first player to minus-20. Lewis quickly followed suit as he birdied the 13th.
Lewis rolled home a birdie try on No. 14, his fourth straight birdie, to take a one-stroke lead. However, that lead was short lived as Lewis bogeyed the next hole. He atoned for that mistake with a birdie on the 16th.
Lewis dropped his second shot on the green at the 18th. He rolled home the birdie putt for a course record and also gave him the tournament scoring record of 22 under. Robert Allenby had owned the previous record of 19-under- par 269, which he set when the event was played at Laurel Valley Country Club.
'I think training and just experience are important to winning,' said Lewis, who became the ninth player over the age of 40 to win on the PGA Tour this season. 'I've been through a lot of these tournaments and you have to control your nerves. If you get yourself a chance to win, that's what it comes down to. I think the older players have done more of it.'
Lickliter birdied four holes on the front nine, including three straight from the seventh. He drained a birdie on No. 13, but dropped a stroke two holes later. He responded to that mistake by sinking back-to-back birdies from the 16th to get to minus-20. However, he only managed a par four at the last.
'The last six holes, I'm thinking, 'Okay, let's see how many birdies I can make in the last six holes,'' said Lickliter. 'I ended up making a bogey in there but it would not have mattered. I was just thinking, somehow, get in on a roll. I was trying to make four or five birdies over the last six holes, but I only made two.'
Appleby entered the final round tied for third. He converted birdies on the second, eighth and 10th to climb to minus-18. He faltered to a bogey on the 13th, but came back to birdie three consecutive holes to gain a share of second place.
Petrovic started the final round alongside Appleby at minus-15. He rolled in birdies on three of his first five holes for a quick start, but he dropped a shot at the ninth. On the back nine, he birdied the 13th before closing with back-to-back birdies from the 17th.
Cameron Beckman, who led by two strokes entering the final round, struggled to a 2-over 74 in the final round. He shared fifth place with Rocco Mediate and Jesper Parnevik at 17-under-par 271. Craig Barlow and Robert Damron were one stroke further back at minus-16.
Chris DiMarco, who won this event in 2000, shared 10th place with Shigeki Maruyama and Rory Sabbatini at 15-under-par 273.
Related Links:
  • 84 Lumber Classic Leaderboard
  • Full Coverage - 84 Lumber Classic