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Lowery rocks at Pebble Beach

By DOUG FERGUSON
Associated Press

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Having gone more than seven years and 199 tournaments without winning, Steve Lowery had every reason to feel out of his element Sunday.

He was on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach, one of the most famous spots in golf.

He was in a playoff against Vijay Singh, one of golf’s toughest customers.

And he never felt more at ease.

Lowery took advantage of a stunning collapse by Singh, who made three consecutive bogeys on the back nine, then put him away on the first extra hole with a 7-foot birdie putt to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

“I couldn’t have given it any more in 18 holes,” said Lowery, who closed with a 4-under 68. “I just told my caddie, ‘I’ve got nothing to lose.’ Just go out and play aggressive. If anything, it kind of freed me up a little it. I just felt like I didn’t have anything to lose.”

The 47-year-old Lowery became the oldest champion in the 71-year history of this event, and under a variety of circumstances, one of the more surprising winners.

He was No. 305 in the world ranking when he arrived on the Monterey Peninsula. He suffered a freak wrist injury last year that kept him out for three months and gave him temporary status this season. Most surprising of all is that Lowery was three shots behind Singh when he walked off the 14th tee.

Singh made three consecutive bogeys, only a wedge into 2 feet on the 18th hole for birdie at a 71 allowed him one last chance in a playoff. That didn’t last long, as Singh found two more bunkers on the 18th in overtime and did well to make par.

Both players finished at 10-under 278.

“I let this one slip away,” Singh said. “I was in control, but those (bogeys) took a little air out of me. I still should have won the tournament. There’s no excuse for that.”

Lowery earned $1.08 million and a two-year exemption. He was on a minor medical extension because of the wrist injury and was given eight tournaments to earn $282,558 to keep his card the rest of the year.

He was only exempt to opposite-field events in Mexico and Puerto Rico the next two months.

Now he’s going to the Masters.

It was his first victory since the 2000 Southern Farm Bureau Classic and third in his career, all won in playoffs.

“After seven years and winning on this course against Vijay and everything … it’s probably the most special,” Lowery said.

The first playoff at Pebble Beach since 1992 didn’t even seem remotely possibly when Lowery walked off the 14th green with a bogey. He was three shots behind Singh, who had just hit a brilliant flop shot to 6 feet to save par on the 13th.

Turns out that was a sign of sloppy play that followed.

Singh went at the flag on the 14th with a sand wedge from 92 yards, but it was a tad strong and spun down the slope, and the best he could do was chip to 20 feet and make bogey. He missed the 15th green to the left, chipped weakly and missed an 8-footer for par.

The free fall continued on the 16th when Singh hit fairway metal into a bunker, went over the green down a slope to the back bunker and two-putted from the fringe for his third straight bogey.

His only break came on the 18th in regulation, when his tee shot bounced off the trunk of a tree and deflected to the left. No such luck in the playoff, however. From a fairway bunker, Singh’s second shot hit the top of the trap, leaving him a 4-iron into the green, and that one caught a plugged lie. He blasted out to 8 feet and saved par.

Dudley Hart, who started the final round tied with Singh, didn’t make a birdie until making three in a row at the end for a 72 to finish one shot out of the playoff. He tied for third with John Mallinger (65) and Corey Pavin (66).

Jason Day, the 20-year-old from Australia, finished alone in sixth after a 70.

Pebble Beach was the final tournament to qualify for the Accenture Match Play Championship. Pat Perez shot 72 and tied for 24th, but it was enough for him to get into his first World Golf Championship. Perez moved up one spot No. 65, and with Ernie Els not playing, he will face Tiger Woods in the first round, provided no one else withdraws.

“I can’t lose either way,” Perez said. “If I beat him, I’m a hero. If I don’t, I’m not supposed to win.”

Lowery took his first lead with a 20-foot birdie on the par-3 17th, but he traces victory to earlier in the day, and the tournament. On Saturday, he made two double bogeys on the back nine at Poppy Hills, but poured in five birdies over the final six holes to stay in the game.

On Sunday, he joined the chase with two of the best shots he has ever struck – a 4-iron over the cliffs and into a breeze to 10 feet on No. 8, followed by a 4-iron from the bunker on No. 9 to about 20 feet for birdie.

That put him at 11 under to pull within one shot.

Singh answered, however, with a long iron from the rough that barely cleared a hump of grass and trickled to 14 inches of the cup for his easiest birdie of the round. And when Lowery dropped shots on the 11th and 14th, victory for Singh looked as certain as a tap-in.

That changed when his sand wedge from spun off the green on the 14th for the first of three straight bogeys, and it ended with two shots into the bunker on the playoff hole.

DIVOTS: Fredrik Jacobson and Bill Walters won the pro-am by a record 10 shots, finishing at 38-under 250. … Nicholas Thompson birdied five of his first six holes and was tied for the lead when Singh and Hart teed off, but he didn’t make another birdie and finished with a 70 to tie for seventh. … The other two players Lowery beat in playoffs were Rick Fehr at the 1994 International and Skip Kendall in the 2000 Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

Final scores with relation to par and earnings from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am played Feb. 7-10 at thethe par-72, 6,816-yard Pebble Beach Golf Links (b), par-72, 6,858-yardSpyglass Hill Golf Course (s), and par-72, 6,833-yard Poppy Hills GolfCourse (p) in Pebble Beach, Calif.:

1. Steve Lowery (4,500)
1,080,000
69s-71b-70p-68b–278

-10 2. Vijay Singh (2,700)
648,000
70b-70p-67s-71b–278

-10 3. Corey Pavin (1,300)
312,000
73s-69b-71p-66b–279

-9 3. John Mallinger (1,300)
312,000
67p-74s-73b-65b–279

-9 3. Dudley Hart (1,300)
312,000
69b-70p-68s-72b–279

-9 6. Jason Day (900)
216,000
69p-70s-71b-70b–280

-8 7. Nicholas Thompson (806)
193,500
69s-69b-74p-70b–282

-6 7. Dustin Johnson (806)
193,500
73p-68s-68b-73b–282

-6 9. Jason Gore (625)
150,000
70p-74s-69b-70b–283

-5 9. Joe Ogilvie (625)
150,000
74p-69s-70b-70b–283

-5 9. Tag Ridings (625)
150,000
73p-71s-68b-71b–283

-5 9. Brent Geiberger (625)
150,000
69p-73s-71b-70b–283

-5 9. Y.E. Yang (625)
150,000
69p-73s-68b-73b–283

-5 14. Jim Furyk (364)
87,360
71s-75b-67p-71b–284

-4 14. P. Harrington (364)
87,360
72b-70p-70s-72b–284

-4 14. James Driscoll (364)
87,360
72p-68s-72b-72b–284

-4 14. D. Maruyama (364)
87,360
71s-72b-71p-70b–284

-4 14. D.A. Points 0
87,360
68s-73b-70p-73b–284

-4 14. Parker McLachlin (364)
87,360
70p-70s-74b-70b–284

-4 14. Mike Weir (364)
87,360
75b-69p-71s-69b–284

-4 14. Fredrik Jacobson (364)
87,360
73s-67b-70p-74b–284

-4 14. Shane Bertsch (364)
87,360
77b-70p-68s-69b–284

-4 14. Michael Allen (364)
87,360
68p-70s-71b-75b–284

-4 24. Pat Perez (185)
44,400
74p-70s-69b-72b–285

-3 24. Chris Riley (185)
44,400
73b-68p-72s-72b–285

-3 24. Andrew Buckle (185)
44,400
69s-73b-71p-72b–285

-3 24. Davis Love III (185)
44,400
70s-71b-72p-72b–285

-3 24. Marco Dawson (185)
44,400
73s-69b-72p-71b–285

-3 24. Bo Van Pelt (185)
44,400
74p-74s-67b-70b–285

-3 24. Paul Stankowski (185)
44,400
74p-72s-69b-70b–285

-3 24. Craig Kanada (185)
44,400
72p-71s-72b-70b–285

-3 24. Jeff Quinney (185)
44,400
69b-70p-71s-75b–285

-3 24. Ryan Armour (185)
44,400
71p-71s-68b-75b–285

-3 34. Matt Kuchar (118)
28,400
74p-69s-69b-74b–286

-2 34. John Riegger (118)
28,400
72b-70p-70s-74b–286

-2 34. Tom Pernice (118)
28,400
70b-74p-70s-72b–286

-2 34. Tim Herron (118)
28,400
68b-69p-74s-75b–286

-2 34. Lee Janzen (118)
28,400
74b-69p-72s-71b–286

-2 34. Jay Williamson (118)
28,400
68b-71p-72s-75b–286

-2 34. Jin Park (118)
28,400
72s-69b-74p-71b–286

-2 34. Mark Wilson (118)
28,400
68p-71s-72b-75b–286

-2 34. Robert Damron (118)
28,400
71s-70b-70p-75b–286

-2 43. Mathew Goggin (83)
19,800
71b-70p-72s-74b–287

-1 43. Kevin Na (83)
19,800
71b-69p-73s-74b–287

-1 43. Olin Browne (83)
19,800
68b-73p-73s-73b–287

-1 43. Justin Leonard (83)
19,800
70p-71s-74b-72b–287

-1 43. A. Canizares (83)
19,800
70p-73s-72b-72b–287

-1 48. Robert Floyd 0
15,264
68b-70p-74s-76b–288

E 48. Kent Jones (64)
15,264
66b-74p-71s-77b–288

E 48. Tim Petrovic (64)
15,264
76b-66p-73s-73b–288

E 48. Greg Kraft (64)
15,264
72p-73s-70b-73b–288

E 48. Ryan Moore (64)
15,264
71s-70b-74p-73b–288

E 53. Charlie Wi (58)
13,824
73s-72b-70p-74b–289
+ 1 53. Jim McGovern (58)
13,824
71s-69b-71p-78b–289
+ 1 53. Jonathan Kaye (58)
13,824
70p-71s-70b-78b–289
+ 1 53. Carlos Franco (58)
13,824
71s-73b-71p-74b–289
+ 1 53. Jeff Maggert (58)
13,824
72s-73b-70p-74b–289
+ 1 58. Nick Watney (56)
13,320
76b-71p-67s-76b–290
+ 2 58. Alex Cejka (56)
13,320
72b-72p-70s-76b–290
+ 2 58. Brandt Snedeker (56)
13,320
73p-72s-70b-75b–290
+ 2 • • •

Made the cut/Did not finish

61. Scott Sterling

73s-72b-71p–216
+ E 61. Grant Waite

73p-71s-72b–216
+ E 61. Matt Jones

70b-72p-74s–216
+ E 61. Brian Davis

72b-71p-73s–216
+ E 61. J.B. Holmes

68s-70b-78p–216
+ E 61. D.J. Trahan

74p-73s-69b–216
+ E 61. Patrick Sheehan

74p-72s-70b–216
+ E 61. Steve Allan

69p-73s-74b–216
+ E 61. John Merrick

71p-70s-75b–216
+ E 61. Jeff Overton

70s-72b-74p–216
+ E • • •

Missed the cut

71. Ted Purdy

71p-75s-71b–217
+ 1 71. Jonathan Moore

70p-72s-75b–217
+ 1 71. Todd Demsey

68s-76b-73p–217
+ 1 71. Rocco Mediate

72b-70p-75s–217
+ 1 71. Brad Elder

73b-68p-76s–217
+ 1 71. Craig Barlow

74b-72p-71s–217
+ 1 71. Roland Thatcher

67s-74b-76p–217
+ 1 71. Doug LaBelle II

70b-74p-73s–217
+ 1 71. David Frost

71b-72p-74s–217
+ 1 71. Brenden Pappas

76p-70s-71b–217
+ 1 71. Tom Scherrer

70b-75p-72s–217
+ 1 71. R. S. Johnson

73b-71p-73s–217
+ 1 71. Peter Tomasulo

71b-68p-78s–217
+ 1 84. Omar Uresti

72s-73b-73p–218
+ 2 84. Tom Lehman

75s-70b-73p–218
+ 2 84. Kevin Streelman

70p-70s-78b–218
+ 2 84. Chris Stroud

73s-70b-75p–218
+ 2 84. Greg Owen

73s-77b-68p–218
+ 2 84. Gavin Coles

74s-70b-74p–218
+ 2 84. Eric Axley

74b-71p-73s–218
+ 2 84. Johnson Wagner

72b-73p-73s–218
+ 2 84. Bob May

74p-70s-74b–218
+ 2 84. Marc Turnesa

70b-74p-74s–218
+ 2 84. Robert Gamez

74s-73b-71p–218
+ 2 95. Bob Sowards

76p-73s-70b–219
+ 3 95. J.P. Hayes

72s-74b-73p–219
+ 3 95. Larry Mize

72b-76p-71s–219
+ 3 95. Skip Kendall

73p-71s-75b–219
+ 3 95. Jonathan Byrd

75s-73b-71p–219
+ 3 95. Dicky Pride

79p-69s-71b–219
+ 3 95. Daniel Chopra

69p-75s-75b–219
+ 3 95. Kenneth Ferrie

72s-74b-73p–219
+ 3 95. Tim Clark

73b-74p-72s–219
+ 3 95. Ken Duke

75s-70b-74p–219
+ 3 95. J.J. Henry

70b-71p-78s–219
+ 3 95. Rick Leibovich

74b-71p-74s–219
+ 3 95. Charley Hoffman

70p-75s-74b–219
+ 3 95. Garrett Willis

73p-75s-71b–219
+ 3 95. Chris DiMarco

74s-72b-73p–219
+ 3 95. Paul Claxton

74s-70b-75p–219
+ 3 111. Joel Kribel

74s-73b-73p–220
+ 4 111. Glen Day

74p-74s-72b–220
+ 4 111. Ryan Palmer

78s-65b-77p–220
+ 4 111. Jason Allred

74s-70b-76p–220
+ 4 111. Dan Forsman

71s-73b-76p–220
+ 4 111. Andrew Magee

74s-70b-76p–220
+ 4 111. Scott McCarron

76b-72p-72s–220
+ 4 111. Frank Lickliter II

72b-73p-75s–220
+ 4 111. Hunter Mahan

75b-72p-73s–220
+ 4 111. David Lutterus

74s-76b-70p–220
+ 4 121. Tommy Gainey

73p-72s-76b–221
+ 5 121. Martin Laird

73b-75p-73s–221
+ 5 121. Len Mattiace

75s-73b-73p–221
+ 5 121. Brad Adamonis

67s-77b-77p–221
+ 5 121. Brian Bateman

71s-77b-73p–221
+ 5 121. Michael Letzig

70b-78p-73s–221
+ 5 121. Jimmy Walker

72b-73p-76s–221
+ 5 121. Chris Smith

76s-71b-74p–221
+ 5 121. Andres Romero

73b-71p-77s–221
+ 5 121. Phil Mickelson

71p-72s-78b–221
+ 5 121. M. Gronberg

75p-74s-72b–221
+ 5 121. Dean Wilson

75p-73s-73b–221
+ 5 133. Paul Goydos

73s-75b-74p–222
+ 6 133. Jim Gallagher Jr.

77b-70p-75s–222
+ 6 133. Spike McRoy

75b-73p-74s–222
+ 6 133. Michael Sim

72b-74p-76s–222
+ 6 133. Harrison Frazar

72s-76b-74p–222
+ 6 133. Kris Cox

68b-72p-82s–222
+ 6 133. Steve Pate

72b-75p-75s–222
+ 6 133. B. Chamblee

69b-73p-80s–222
+ 6 141. John Huston

73b-73p-77s–223
+ 7 141. Steve Elkington

78p-72s-73b–223
+ 7 141. Duffy Waldorf

71p-76s-76b–223
+ 7 141. Travis Perkins

76s-72b-75p–223
+ 7 141. Mark Brooks

77s-76b-70p–223
+ 7 141. Tom Byrum

76b-69p-78s–223
+ 7 141. Chad Collins

76p-72s-75b–223
+ 7 148. Richard Johnson

78s-70b-76p–224
+ 8 149. Willie Wood

77b-76p-72s–225
+ 9 149. John Daly

79p-74s-72b–225
+ 9 149. Kevin Sutherland

76p-78s-71b–225
+ 9 149. Greg Norman

76p-70s-79b–225
+ 9 149. Bob Heintz

74p-79s-72b–225
+ 9 154. Phil Tataurangi

76b-79p-71s–226
+ 10 154. Kyle Thompson

76p-77s-73b–226
+ 10 154. Peter Jacobsen

73p-75s-78b–226
+ 10 154. Brett Rumford

78p-74s-74b–226
+ 10 154. John Morse

73s-76b-77p–226
+ 10 154. Colt Knost

77b-72p-77s–226
+ 10 160. Guy Boros

75p-79s-73b–227
+ 11 160. Billy Andrade

75s-75b-77p–227
+ 11 160. Bob Burns

75p-75s-77b–227
+ 11 160. Ryan Dillon

78s-77b-72p–227
+ 11 164. Cody Freeman

72b-80p-76s–228
+ 12 164. Tadd Fujikawa

72s-81b-75p–228
+ 12 164. Craig Stadler

74p-80s-74b–228
+ 12 164. Justin Bolli

74s-76b-78p–228
+ 12 164. Jason Dufner

78s-74b-76p–228
+ 12 164. Jeff Gove

72b-74p-82s–228
+ 12 164. Jay Delsing

74p-76s-78b–228
+ 12 164. David Duval

75b-78p-75s–228
+ 12 172. Ron Whittaker

74b-77p-78s–229
+ 13 172. Tim Wilkinson

74p-82s-73b–229
+ 13 174. J.L. Lewis

76b-79p-75s–230
+ 14 175. Mike Wilson

74p-77s-80b–231
+ 15 175. Joey Sindelar

79s-80b-72p–231
+ 15 177. Mark Hensby

76s-78b-78p–232
+ 16 177. Mike Heinen

76s-78b-78p–232
+ 16 179. Ross Fisher

78s-79b-78p–235
+ 19 180. Keith Clearwater

85s-76b-76p–237
+ 21

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