2005: Roberts closes door at Jeld-Wen

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Greater Gwinnett Championship

Duluth, GA - TPC Sugarloaf

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Aloha, Ore.

Loren Roberts, who turned 50 in June, wanted to make his presence felt on the Champions Tour.

In only his third event on the circuit, Roberts is not only a tour winner – but a major champion.

Roberts edged leading money winner Dana Quigley with a bogey on the second playoff hole to capture the Jeld-Wen Tradition Aug. 28 at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Course.

“When you’re 50, you’re the young kid on the block,” said Roberts, who finished at 15-under 273 and won $375,000. “I think all of the players, when they turn 50 feel they should do well.

“I wanted to come out here and do well and establish myself early. That’s why this win is so sweet to me.”

Roberts had a chance at victory at the U.S. Senior Open at NCR Country Club, but tied for second. At the Senior British Open, where he led at one point, he finished fifth.

Roberts is 103rd on the PGA Tour money list and has a chance to be fully exempt on that tour next year if he finishes in the top 125. He knows he will play on the Champions Tour full time at some point, but he also is hesitant to leave the PGA Tour.

“I played out there since 1981, so it’s been 24 years,” Roberts said. “It’s always hard to go from one thing to another when you’ve spent that much time at something. If you work at a job for that long, it’s kind of hard to say goodbye to it.”

Now with a victory, Roberts is No. 18 in Champions Tour earnings, assuring him a place to play without worry.

The 17th hole twice gave Quigley trouble.

Quigley bogeyed the hole in regulation, then double bogeyed it on the second playoff hole.

“A par on 17 either time would have been a win,” he said. “That darn 17. Next year, we’re going to 16, then 18, and not playing 17. I’m done with that hole.”

Quigley’s 31⁄2-foot putt for bogey on the hole lipped out, while Roberts’ fell – giving him the victory with a bogey.

Roberts’ second shot on the 17th rolled far past the hole and beyond the signature bunker in the middle of the green. Quigley’s hit a rake near a greenside bunker and stayed right on the edge.

Roberts pitched over the bunker for his third shot, while Quigley was forced into an awkward stance with one foot in the bunker and the other teetering on the lip. Quigley asked the gallery, “Got any ideas?”

Neither was close and both missed medium-range par putts.

On the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th, Roberts seemed to have a huge advantage when his second shot bounced onto the green, putting him in position for an eagle putt. Quigley’s second shot went into a greenside bunker, but he blasted out to 3 feet for birdie and Roberts two-putted.

Quigley knocked in an 8-foot putt for an eagle at the par-5 16th in regulation, but bogeyed the next hole and missed a 17-foot birdie putt on 18 – opening the door for Roberts, who birdied the final two holes to reach 15 under. It was time to make his presence felt – and he did.

– Staff and wire reports

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