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Archive for Monday, October 28, 2002

Watson Senior Tour winner

Kansas Citian shrugs off bad weather to edge Morgan

October 28, 2002

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— Tom Watson found the unpleasant playing conditions at the Senior Tour Championship a perfect fit.

Watson, whose five British Open titles are testament to his success in foul weather, shot a 5-under 67 Sunday and beat Gil Morgan by two strokes in the season-ending event for the Senior PGA Tour's top 31 money winners.

"The golf course actually played pretty easy," Watson, of Kansas City, said after his first victory of the season, worth $440,000. He had been a runner-up five times this year.

"A lot of these guys think it's kind of cold, but this is just my type of weather."

And the weather was the story all week.

Thursday's first round was suspended by rain, and it stayed overcast with temperatures mostly in the 40s after that.

In an effort to beat the rain on Sunday, tee times were moved up 2 hours and golfers went off the first and 10th tees. But after 30 minutes of play, rain caused a suspension for about 2 hours.

Watson and Morgan started the day tied for the lead at 9 under. Playing together in the cool conditions, each made three birdies on the front nine to make the turn at minus 12.

Watson moved into the lead for good on No. 13 when he rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt from the fringe.

"That was the best putt of the day," he said.

Morgan hit every green in regulation until pushing his tee shots on Nos. 14, 15 and 16. He scrambled for pars on the first two before making a bogey on the 16th to give Watson a two-stroke cushion.

On that hole, Morgan drove into thick rough, pitched out, then left his 4-iron approach about 25 feet from the cup.

"The bogey at 16 really hurt," Morgan said. "I just didn't feel like I played as well as he did coming down the stretch and that was the biggest difference."

Watson was 3 over after the first 20 holes of the tournament. He played the last 52 holes in a bogey-free 17 under par.

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