Nelson shrugs off bee sting to win

Associated Press

HUNT VALLEY, Md. -- Larry Nelson overcame a bee sting and some lingering doubts to win for the first time in nearly two years.

"You never really know when the last event is going to be that you win, and for a long time you think, well, maybe you've already had your last one," said Nelson, who turned 56 on Wednesday.

"You always think about that, but you're successful only if you can go back and be in the moment."

The three-time major champion stayed in the moment Sunday, shaking off the bee sting on his right hand to beat Doug Tewell and Jim Dent by two strokes in the Constellation Energy Classic.


"Had it been my left hand, it would've really been rough," Nelson said. "The right one, you probably don't need anyway."

He closed with a 2-under 70 for a 9-under 207 total on the Hayfields Country Club course, and earned $225,000 for his 17th Champions Tour title and first since October 2001.

Tewell shot a 69 and Dent had a 71, while Jay Sigel (73) was another stroke back at 6 under along with Scotland's Sam Torrance (68) and Ireland's Des Smyth (72).

Nelson didn't begin playing golf until he returned from his military service in Vietnam, learning by reading Ben Hogan's instructional book. He won 10 PGA Tour titles, including two PGA Championships and one U.S. Open title.

On Sunday, he looked back to his 1981 PGA title.

"When I won my first PGA along about hole 13 or 14 things would flash in my mind like 10-year exemption and Ryder Cup team," he said. "I would have to physically put it out of my mind, telling myself, 'I can't think about that right now, I have to focus on what I'm doing."'

His focus was tested Sunday,

Nelson was one stroke behind and lining up a 12-foot par putt on the ninth green when he grabbed his belt(to hitch up his pants, not realizing a bee had landed on him.


He said the bee stung him on the knuckle near the tip of the index finger on his right hand. "I actually didn't feel my finger for about three holes," he said.

It didn't affect his performance. He made his par putt on No. 9, parred 10 and birdied 11 to tie for the lead. After pars on his next four holes, he trailed Tewell by one stroke when he reached the par-5 16th. But Nelson caught Tewell with a 15-foot birdie putt and then watched as Tewell bogeyed the final two holes.

"I've got a bad taste right now," Tewell said. "I've gotten the best of (Nelson) a lot the last couple of years. I guess it was my turn to give it back today and make it easy for him."

Deere drags on

J.L. Lewis was dragging as the rain-delayed John Deere Classic went into overtime.

"I was getting tired the last four or five holes and I've got to be back out here in 12 hours. It's the same for everybody, though," Lewis said after playing extra holes as the PGA Tour tried to make up for Saturday's washout.

Lewis and Vijay Singh topped the leaderboard when darkness halted play Sunday, sending the tournament to a Monday finish.

Play was scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. CDT today. Lewis and Singh, paired in the final threesome, had 13 holes left.

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