Triplett outlasts Langer, Waldorf to win ACE
Sunday, February 16, 2014
With five straight pars down the stretch, Kirk Triplett outlasted Bernhard Langer and Duffy Waldorf – both of whom bogeyed the 18th as the threesome played the final hole together – to win the Champions Tour's ACE Group Classic on Sunday in Naples, Fla.
Triplett had made the turn in 4 under before back-to-back birdies at Nos. 12-13 gave him his last gains of the day. But that was good enough to finish a shot ahead of Langer, Waldorf and Olin Browne. Jay Haas finished alone in fifth after a 64 that tied for the best round of the week.
The win gave Triplett his first victory since last year's Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach – and to hear him tell it, his first on the East Coast (even if it's the western coast of the Florida peninsula).
"I've never won out here on this side of the world," Triplett said. "I'm a West Coast guy through and through, so to win on this Bermuda grass is, I think, a little bit of a minor miracle for me."
He credited Langer as being good company for the ride to victory.
"We were joking last week, 'If you shot one shot worse than Bernhard every day all year, what would you finish on the money list?' Somebody goes, 'Second, right?' because it just feels that way sometimes," Triplett said.
And as for his winning par?
"You want to make birdies but you don't want to make bogeys and you're thinking to yourself, 'four's not going to lose this probably,' " Triplett said. "I mean, it might. If it does, if it loses the 18th hole, you look the guy in the eye, shake his hand and say, 'Well done, sir.' It wasn't the best (putt) I made all day, but it was good enough."
– Associated Press contributed