Leonard keep cool to edge Parnevik

Justin Leonard made a 10-foot birdie putt on the third play-off hole to edge out overnight leader Jesper Parnevik and win the Texas Open on Sunday.

Justin Leonard made a 10-foot birdie putt on the third play-off hole to edge out overnight leader Jesper Parnevik and win the Texas Open on Sunday.

Leonard, who won the event in 2000 and 2001 at LaCantera Golf Club, joins Arnold Palmer as the only three-time winners of the Texas Open.

Parnevik, who lead for the first three rounds, entered Sunday with a three-shot lead but could only manage a one-under-par 69 on Sunday, while Leonard closed with a final round five-under 65 to join the Swede at 19-under-par and force extra holes.

“When I came back in 2002 to try and win for the third straight time, I remember a lot of the talk was trying to join Arnold Palmer, ” said Leonard said. “Since then I haven’t really had a chance to win down here and I didn’t think about it today, which is probably a good thing, but it’s great company to be in.”

Leonard had a chance to win on the final hole of regulation but his 15-footer slid just left of the hole. He missed from six feet for the win on the second extra hole but converted his next opportunity after Parnevik came up a foot short on a 30-footer for birdie.

The victory was Leonard’s 11th PGA Tour title and first since the 2005 St. Jude Classic with his best finish on tour prior to Sunday was a tie for second at the Buick Open.

“At 16 I had a good putt at it. I hit an OK putt but it just broke a little more than I thought and then finally got one to fall at 17,” added Leonard. “I had straight downgrain, there was nothing really to worry about. I just need to get it started on a decent line and I was able to do that.”

Swedes Mathias Gronberg shot a final round 69 and Daniel Chopra shot a 66 to tie for third at 16-under-par, while Heath Slocum fired a sizzling 62 to finish fifth a further two shots adrift.

“I had to dig pretty deep today because I got off to – I didn’t get off to a bad start, I couldn’t get any momentum going all on the front nine,” said Parnevik. “I wanted to win but the tough thing is to actually get into position. So I’m happy about that, that I actually got to feel it again because it’s been awhile.”

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