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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 01:00 GMT 02:00 UK
Garcia leads European challenge
Sergio Garcia
Spain's Sergio Garcia finished as the top European at the US Open at Pinehurst after a level-par 70 took him to a tie for third at five over.

Garcia, 25, finished five shots behind winner Michael Campbell with Sweden's Peter Hedblom a further three strokes behind in a share of 11th.

"I played well," said Garcia. "The pins were tough and I really feel like I shot the highest score I could shoot.

"I was thinking I would have to shoot 65 or 66 and I could have got it too."

Europe is without a US Open champion since England's Tony Jacklin won in 1970 and has not won a major title of any kind since Paul Lawrie at the 1999 Open.

Garcia, who won the Booz Allen Classic on the US Tour the week before the US Open, began the day eight strokes behind overnight leader Retief Goosen and went out in 35 after two birdies and two bogeys.

He dropped another shot at the 15th but hauled it back at the 16th before missing a 12-foot chance on the 17th and a 20-footer at the last for birdie.

Hedblom, 35, slipped to a final-round 75 to undo the good work of his Pinehurst US Open record 66 on day two of his US Open debut.

He only qualified for the year's second major after finishing eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie in the qualifier at Walton Heath, Surrey, earlier this month.

Hedblom was 41st on the European Order of Merit before the event and ranked 193 in the world.


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