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KORNWESTHEIM, Germany — It wasn’t exactly the start Scott Winegar was looking for in Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Army European Open.

As one of four golfers tied for the lead after the first round Saturday, Winegar, of Sembach, went double bogey-bogey on the first two holes and quickly fell three strokes behind.

"Did you see that?" Winegar asked after the round. "It was brutal."

Winegar swept the cobwebs from his game almost immediately, parring the next three holes and 11 of the final 16 on his way to a second straight 81 and a one-stroke victory.

"When everyone plays badly," said Winegar — whose playing partner and Saturday co-leader Jonathan Moore of Schweinfurt started out even worse (7-8-4) and shot 92 — "you finally just decide to start playing golf."

Playing almost exactly as the course architects intended was exactly what Winegar did the rest of the way, barely holding off a charge from Bamberg’s Donald Knollenberg.

Playing two groups in front of Winegar, Knollenberg shot the lowest round of the tournament, a 79, which he attributed to his accuracy off the tee. "If you hit the fairways here, you will score well," Knollenberg said. "I probably hit 16 of 18 fairways today."

But Knollenberg shot 84 Saturday, which turned out to be a hole too deep to escape.

"I kind of gave up on myself on Saturday," he said. "Coming into the tournament, I expected that 2-over each day would probably win it. But when I saw that I was just three behind [after Saturday], I said, ‘Wow. I’m still in it.’ I focused today on staying positive and just playing my game."

Knollenberg’s 79 was even more remarkable in light of the amount of time he and the other leaders had to wait between shots as the 20- and 30-something handicappers playing in front of them in B Flight flailed their way to raw scores well into the 100s.

All that extra time did more than make it hard to keep focused, Knollenberg said.

"It gives you too much time to second-guess yourself," Knollenberg said of the long waits at tee boxes and over second shots. "On one of the par-5s, I was going to lay up, but after thinking about it, I decided to go for the green and pulled my hybrid club out of the bag. I hit the hybrid into the weeds."

Knollenberg, who is leaving Germany next week, was playing his last round for the foreseeable future at Stuttgart.

Winegar indicated he’s ready to defend his title in 2009.

"If my boss lets me," he said, pointing to third-place finisher James Blair, also of Sembach, who parlayed three sand saves Sunday into his second straight 82 and finished one stroke behind Knollenberg.

"He’ll be back," Blair said with a smile.

For his efforts on the 6,975-yard, par-73 Stuttgart Golf Course, Winegar earned a Nike Sumo-Squared driver.


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