By The Associated Press

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) – The guy in a red shirt and a swoosh turned in a record-setting performance to win the World Match Play Championship on Sunday, just as everyone expected. Paul Casey said his choice of apparel was merely a coincidence.

A tournament that began with Tiger Woods going for his sixth straight victory ended with Casey plowing through everyone in his path to capture the richest prize in golf and send the Englishman to the Ryder Cup with the biggest win of his career.

Casey never trailed in his final 71 holes of a marathon week at Wentworth, winning the final five against Shaun Micheel for a 10-and-8 victory, the largest margin of the final match in the 43-year history of the HSBC World Match Play Championship. No other golfer has made winning 1 million pounds (about $1.88 million) look so easy.

So dominant was Casey, who grew up about 15 minutes away from Wentworth, that he played only 126 holes, another record for fewest holes over four 36-hole matches. Ian Woosnam and Padraig Harrington each played 128 holes in 2001.

His prize was the largest of any official tournament in the world, and while only about 40 percent of it applies toward the Order of Merit on the European tour, it was enough to put Casey atop the list. This was his third victory of the tour’s season, the most by an English player since Lee Westwood in 2000.

84 Lumber Classic

FARMINGTON, Pa. – Ben Curtis excels in taking home the best possible going-away presents from disappearing PGA Tour events.

Curtis, start-to-finish steady on a day when the leaderboard was filled with higher scores than the previous three days, claimed a lame-duck tour event for the second time in three months by winning the 84 Lumber Classic by two shots.

Curtis shot a 2-under 70 to finish at 14-under 274 and earned $828,000 for his third tour title. The 2003 British Open winner won the last Booz Allen Classic in June, and then won the fourth and last 84 Lumber Classic. The tournament was supposed to move from its less-visible mid-September dates to June 2007, but dropped off the schedule.

Charles Howell III shot a 72 to finish second.

Constellation Energy Classic

HUNT VALLEY, Md. – Bob Gilder shot a 7-under 65, the lowest round of the day, to overcome a three-shot deficit and successfully defend his Constellation Energy Classic title in the final year of the Champions Tour event.

Next year, the Senior Players Championship comes to nearby Baltimore Country Club.

Gilder had a bogey-free round to finish at 14 under. Jay Haas (68), Brad Bryant (68) and Don Pooley (70) tied for second, two strokes back. Chip Beck, making his first Champions Tour start, shot a 66 to match Tom Watson (67) at 11 under.

It was Gilder’s ninth Champions Tour win, but only his second since 2003. Both have come at Hayfields Country Club. Gilder, who pocketed $255,000, never has finished worse than 14th in five Constellation Energy Classic appearances. Last year, Gilder won wire-to-wire, matching the tournament record of 18 under.


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