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Steve Flesch wins again on the PGA Tour, taking Turning Stone by 2 shots

Steve Flesch
John Haeger/AP
Flesch finished at 18 under par.

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) — Two months ago, Steve Flesch was down and almost out. Now, there seems to be no stopping him.

Flesch, who missed the cut in half of the first 20 PGA Tour events he entered this year, continued his resurgence on Sunday, shooting a 1-over 73 to beat Michael Allen by two shots and win the inaugural Turning Stone Resort Championship.

It was the left-hander's second PGA Tour victory of the year, and the $1.08 million payday boosted his earnings for 2007 to $2.2 million to vault him from 70th on the money list to 25th.

"Eight weeks ago, I was fighting to keep my job out here," said Flesch, who also earned a spot in the U.S. Open next year as a multiple winner since the last Open. "I wasn't playing great, missing a lot of cuts by a shot. And when I did make a cut, I was shooting even par on the weekend. You're just waving guys by when that happens.

"It's funny. This game is all confidence," Flesch said. "One little spark can turn your year around, turn your game around. All my friends and family told me to hang in there, keep working hard. But at some point you want results. You can only hang in there so hard and have these guys beat your brains in for so long before you start losing a little bit of confidence."

It was Flesch's fourth career victory on the PGA Tour and marked the third straight time he's won after holding the 54-hole lead. The third-round leader has won five of the last eight events on the PGA Tour, dating to Flesch's victory at the Reno-Tahoe Open in August.

It was a banner day, too, for the 48-year-old Allen (68), who last year made his 13th trip to the Q-school finals and earned his PGA Tour card for a record ninth time. Although Allen failed to get his first victory, he earned $648,000 to boost his earnings to a career-high $960,297, inside the top 100 on the money list.

"I'm going to faint in just a little bit. I mean, it's great," said Allen, who also will get a $4,000 refund from Q school now that he won't have to endure that again. "In a way I won the tournament just finishing second because for me that was enormous. I didn't really have much chance to win unless he really faltered."

It wasn't difficult to figure out how Flesch won. Over the first three rounds, he reached 51 of 54 greens in regulation, hit 32 of 42 fairways, made 14 putts of more than 10 feet, and was 11 under on the more difficult back nine, including a course-record 30 on Friday that included four birdies and an eagle. That put him at 19 under and tied the PGA Tour's lowest 54-hole score in relation to par this year.

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