Christian downs Gronberg in record-tying playoff|
Moscow, PA (Sports Network) - Gary Christian needed nine playoff holes Sunday
to defeat Mathias Gronberg and win the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic.
Christian finally made birdie on the ninth extra hole to beat Gronberg, who
made bogey. The nine additional holes matched the Nationwide Tour record for
"Everything has to end eventually," Christian joked. "I needed to get into the
record book somehow. To be honest, I lost count."
Eric Booker needed nine extra holes to beat Notah Begay III and win the 1998
Lehigh Valley Open.
Christian and Gronberg both closed with six-under 64s to finish at 15-under-
par 265. Their total of 265 matched the tournament's scoring record, which
Blaine McCallister set in 2003.
Through eight playoff holes, neither player blinked, as they both made eight
Finally on the ninth extra trip up the 18th hole at Elmhurst Country Club,
Christian made birdie to win the title, as Gronberg scrambled to a bogey.
"It's not a hole you can force," Christian stated. "We were like a couple of
heavyweights. We both had some chances."
Henrik Bjornstad ended alone in third at minus-13 after carding his third
straight three-under 67. Chris Tidland took fourth at minus-11 as he closed
with a one-under 69.
Christian and Gronberg played together in the penultimate group on Sunday and
they battled throughout. Christian carded birdies on the third, fourth and
seventh to move to 12-under.
Gronberg moved one ahead as he birdied three, five, six and seven. However,
Gronberg stumbled to a bogey on the eighth. He recovered that lost stroke with
a birdie at the ninth.
Christian joined Gronberg at minus-13 with a birdie on No. 10. Both Christian
and Gronberg birdied the 11th. Christian briefly took the lead with a birdie
on the 12th, but Gronberg birdie the 14th to join Christian in the lead at
From the 15th and into the playoff, Christian and Gronberg matched 12
David McKenzie (67), Guy Boros (71), Tom Gillis (66), Omar Uresti (67), Ron
Whittaker (67), Peter Tomasulo (69), Garrett Osborn (67) and Kevin Chappell
(69) shared fifth place at 10-under-par 270.
08/30 21:23:39 ET