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Cook Cruises To Near-Record Triumph

By Associated Press

In a week where just about everything went right, John Cook enjoyed one of his finest walks toward the 18th green in quite some time.

He had just chipped from 75 feet on the last hole, an 8-iron that was a hair too hard. The ball bounced off the pin, leaving Cook one stroke shy of the PGA Tour record for a 72-hole tournament.

Still, this was no time to complain. Cook was a winner again, having captured the $1.35 million St. Jude Classic by seven strokes.

“It’s been a long time since I felt like this,” Cook said. “I did the things I needed to do today right on through to the last hole. I didn’t want to coast in from anywhere.”

He closed with a 2-under-par 69 for a four-round total of 258, 26 under par and one stroke off Mike Souchak’s record at the Texas Open, a mark that has been in the books for 41 years.

Cook couldn’t even complain about a spike mark that affected a 4-foot birdie putt on 16 that would have tied the record.

Cook had one bogey the entire tournament - the 17th hole in the third round. He started Sunday with a six-stroke lead over John Adams thanks to a tour record low of 189 through 54 holes. His opening three rounds were 64-62-63.

Adams, who has never won in 20 years on tour, finished second after four bogeys and five birdies gave him a 70 for 265. Kenny Perry was third with 266, followed by Justin Leonard and Gil Morgan at 267.

Kirk Triplett, formerly of Pullman, finished at 260 and earned $36,450.

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: RECORD ROUNDS Record scores in an official, 72-hole PGA Tour event, with player, scores by round, and event: 257 - Mike Souchak 60-68-64-65, 1955 Texas Open 258 - John Cook 64-62-63-69, 1996 St. Jude Classic 258 - Donnie Hammond65-64-65-64, 1989 Texas Open

This sidebar appeared with the story: RECORD ROUNDS Record scores in an official, 72-hole PGA Tour event, with player, scores by round, and event: 257 - Mike Souchak 60-68-64-65, 1955 Texas Open 258 - John Cook 64-62-63-69, 1996 St. Jude Classic 258 - Donnie Hammond65-64-65-64, 1989 Texas Open

Wordcount: 327
Tags: golf

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