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Wire-to-wire win earns Gay U.S.Open ticket

  • Story Highlights
  • American Brian Gay completes a wire-to-wire win at the St Jude Classic
  • Gay fired third successive 66 to earn his place at this week's U.S. Open
  • Compatriots David Toms and Bryce Molder were second five shots adrift
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(CNN) -- American Brian Gay sealed his ticket to this week's U.S. Open with a wire-to-wire win in the St Jude Classic at TPC Southwind, Memphis.

American Brian Gay earned a U.S. Open ticket after his wire-to-wire victory at the St Jude Classic.

American Brian Gay earned a U.S. Open ticket after his wire-to-wire victory at the St Jude Classic.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell shot the lowest score of the day, 63, but Gay was unstoppable as he continued his dominance of the event to run out a five-shot winner from David Toms and Bryce Molder.

Gay, who won the Verizon Heritage tournament in April by 10 strokes, had led by one stroke after each of the first three rounds and triumphed after carding his third straight 66 following an opening 64.

He had given himself plenty of breathing space with birdies at three of his first six holes en route to his 18-under total of 262.

Molder carded a 70 for 267, where he was joined by Toms, who notched a 65.

Australians Robert Allenby (69) and John Senden (64) joined American Paul Goydos (68) on 268 with McDowell another shot adrift.

"It was a pretty good golf tournament except for one guy stealing the show," said Toms, who won the title in 2003 and 2004.

The field had been forced to wait four hours before the final round could get under way after an unexpected storm hit the Tennessee course on Sunday morning.

"It was a long course today, even longer than yesterday, really wet and didn't play into my hands at all," Gay said. "I wasn't happy with all the rain but I managed to get it done. It's been a really great week and I'm really happy."

World number two Phil Mickelson failed to make an impact as he continued to shake off rustiness ahead of the US Open following a break from competitive golf after his wife Amy's breast cancer diagnosis last month.

Mickelson, a two-time winner in 2009, admitted he was concerned about his putting ahead of this week's test at Bethpage Black.

"It's the weakest point," Mickelson said. "I feel like I've struck the ball well but have not been able to get it in the hole and shoot a number."

The American bogeyed two of his first three holes, including a two-putt from 10 feet at the second.

Mickelson birdied the eighth and 10th but triple-bogeyed the par-three island hole at the 11th then bogeyed the 12th before finishing birdie-bogey-bogey for a five-over 75, tied for 59th with, among others, John Daly, in his first tournament back since serving a six-month PGA Tour suspension for misconduct.

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