2001: Doyle relishes time at the top

Dearborn, Mich.

Allen Doyle doesn’t have the flair and the finesse of many of his well-known colleagues, but he does have what it takes to beat them.

Doyle, the former college hockey player who turned pro in 1995 after a successful amateur career, forced sudden death with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the Senior Players Championship July 15. On the first playoff hole he beat Doug Tewell.

“You can’t fathom where I’ve come from,” Doyle said. “It still blows my mind that this is my office, here at a golf course. You don’t lose touch with that and don’t forget that you’re one of the luckiest guys in the world. Am I 1 up on everybody or what?”

Doyle, who shot 5-under 67 to match Tewell at 15-under 273, won his second major and sixth overall title on the Senior Tour. The first-place check of $375,000 bumped his season earnings to $1.6 million, second to Bruce Fleisher’s $1.7 million. Not bad for a guy whose swing looks like a model of imperfection but its results prove otherwise.

Doyle’s march up the leaderboard came on the bone-dry TPC of Michigan that Gary McCord described as looking “like Uncle Fester’s head.”

Tewell, who shot 66, saw his chances for victory slip away on the extra hole when his tee shot went wide left and landed in wetlands. He bogeyed, while Doyle parred.

“I kind of felt like I shut the door on Allen, but he birdied,” said Tewell of the final hole of regulation. “But I’m happy I’m getting my game back. . . . This really ticks me off that I lost.”

The tournament marked Lee Trevino’s final major. “There is no reason for me to play the majors anymore,” Trevino said after the opening round, “because I have no chance of winning.”

– Compiled from wire reports

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