2004: Morgan earns 3rd SBC title
Santa Clarita, Calif.
Gil Morgan wasn’t about to let last year’s miscue cost him another SBC Classic.
Morgan, who won this event in 1996 and 1997, shot a final-round 69 for a two-stroke victory March 14 over Larry Nelson at Valencia Country Club. Morgan finished at 14-under 202.
Last year, Morgan bogeyed No. 18 and Tom Purtzer made a 58-foot eagle putt for the title. This year, Nelson eagled the par-5 18th for his third consecutive 68, but this time, Morgan had enough of a lead that it didn’t matter.
“It was a little nerve-racking coming down the stretch after what happened last year,” Morgan said. “When I made that par putt on 15, I thought things would go my way.”
Morgan, who has started 2004 with 15 consecutive rounds of par or better, birdied No. 3 before birdies at Nos. 9-11.
“Those three straight birdies obviously were crucial,” said Morgan, who tied Bob Charles at No. 4 with 23 career Champions Tour victories.
Peter Jacobsen made his Champions Tour debut and contended until a bogey at the par-3 16th dropped him to third.
“I had a ball,” said Jacobsen, who shot 67-71-67. “I love this golf course. It’s not long, but it’s hard to score. The setup was magnificent. I enjoyed it. I came to win, and I thought I played well enough to win.”
Short shots: Joe Inman, who won the SBC from 1998 to 2000, tied a course record with a final-round 64 to tie for fourth. . . . Craig Stadler played the first two holes in 7 under (birdie-birdie-eagle on the par-5 first hole and birdie-birdie-birdie on par-4 second hole). Stadler tied for seventh at 8 under. . . . Rodger Davis withdrew after 12 holes Friday after suffering an allergic reaction. . . . George Archer played his first event since last May (Bruno’s Memorial Classic). It was Archer’s 997th combined career start (PGA and Champions Tour). He finished tied for 63rd. . . . Dana Quigley (T-68) made his 238th consecutive start for which he has been eligible and played his 224th consecutive Champions Tour event. . . . Jim Colbert won the Georgia-Pacific Grand Champions title when he defeated Jay Sigel with par on the first playoff hole.
– Staff and wire reports