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Ryan Palmer expected the worst when his chip from 50 feet short of the 18th green came out a little strong. His chip struck the pin squarely, and instead of running about 8 feet past the hole, it settled a few inches away. Palmer tapped in for a birdie and a 4-under 66, giving him a one-shot victory in the Sony Open when Robert Allenby missed a 10-foot birdie putt. "What a way to start the year," Palmer said. Sony Open Leaderboard 1. Palmer (-15) 2. Allenby (-14) 3. Stricker (-13) 4. Goosen (-12) T-5. Howell (-11) T-5. Pettersson (-11) T-5. Love (-11) All week long at the Sony Open, he tried to stay in the moment, a lesson he picked up earlier in the week while reading an article about defending champion Zach Johnson. The chip turned out to be the greatest moment of all. "It was a good chip," Palmer said. "The grain was running against me. It was either going to hit it fat or do what I did. Fortunately, I got the good break." The 33-year-old Texan was atop the leaderboard every day, and kept his composure in a tight final round at Waialae against Allenby and Steve Stricker, who was briefly tied for the lead and eventually finished third. "What I got out of this is beyond words," Palmer said. "It's a great field. To do it every day ... my bad round was 2-under par. I never once got upset or impatient. What I did today was the best round of golf I ever experienced." And it came with some pretty good perks. Palmer, who finished 150th on the money list last year, is exempt on the PGA Tour through 2012. He's going to the Masters for the first time in five years. He can add The Players Championship and PGA Championship to his list, along with at least one World Golf Championship.
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