PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Kirk Triplett won the First Tee Open on Sunday at Pebble Beach for his first Champions Tour title, making an early eagle and closing with a 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory.
Triplett, the two-time PGA Tour winner making his eighth start on the senior tour after turning 50 in March, finished at 10-under 206. He opened with a 70 at Pebble Beach and had a 70 at Del Monte on Saturday to enter the final round four strokes behind leaders Tom Kite and Brad Bryant.
Triplett eagled the par-5 second hole, and chipped in on the par-4 16th for the last of his five birdies. He had only one bogey in the final round, on the par-3 12th.
Mark McNulty was second after a 69.
Bryant, Jay Haas and Bill Glasson tied for third at 6 under. Haas and Glasson shot 69, and Bryant had a 74.
The 62-year-old Kite closed with a 76 to tie for ninth at 4 under. Jeff Sluman, the 2008, 2009 and 2011 winner, also was 4 under after a 67.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Tom Kite shot a 3-under 69 on Saturday at Pebble Beach for a share of the lead with Brad Bryant after the second round of the First Tee Open.
The 62-year-old Kite won the 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the site of the final round Sunday in the Champions Tour event.
"I didn't play quite as well today tee to green as I did yesterday," said Kite, who won the last of his 10 Champions Tour titles in 2008. "But I made some nice recoveries. Beginning on the 11th hole, I began make some nice shots."
He's in position to become the third oldest tour winner behind Mike Fetchick and Gary Player.
"I'm pleased to be playing well," Kite said. "It's nice to do something and feel like I have a chance. Fifty year olds keep winning. It's more difficult, but I'm on a golf course I know well and like a lot."
Bryant, winless since the 2007 U.S. Senior Open, had a 67 at Del Monte to match Kite at 8 under.
The 58-year-old Bryant is playing with a ruptured tendon ...
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — John Cook closed with a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth hole at Del Monte for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with 62-year-old Tom Kite on Friday in the First Tee Open.
Kite also opened at Del Monte. He won the 1983 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am and 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the site of his final two rounds in the Champions Tour event.
Cook won the 1981 Crosby for the first of his 11 PGA Tour titles. He had the eagle, five birdies and two bogeys.
"It was nice way to finish the round," Cook said. "I made a lot of birdies and took advantage of my chances. If you have a good round here you know you have a chance. You've got to manage Pebble Beach and keep damage to a minimum."
He's winless this year after sharing the tour lead last season with three.
"My irons and wedges were on today," said Cook, who made four birdie putts from 8 feet or closer. "I took advantage of the par 5s. The greens are really good."
Kite birdied his final two holes. He had six birdies ...
All Times EDT
U.S. GOLF ASSOCIATION: U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN
Site: Kohler, Wis.
Course: Blackwolf Run, Championship Course (6,954 yards, par 72).
Purse: TBA ($3.25 million in 2011). Winner’s share: TBA ($585,000 in 2011).
Television: ESPN2 (Thursday-Friday, 4-8 p.m.) and NBC (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Last year: So Yeon Ryu won the rain-delayed tournament in a Monday finish at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., beating South Korean rival Hee Kyung Seo by three shots in a three-hole playoff. Ryu birdied the final hole of regulation to tie Seo.
Last week: Japan’s Ai Miyazato won the NW Arkansas Championship for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and ninth overall. She closed with a 6-under 65 to overcome a five-shot deficit and beat Mika Miyazato and Azahara Munoz by a stroke.
Notes: South Korea’s Se Ri Pak won the 1998 tournament at Pete Dye-designed Blackwolf Run, beating Jenny Chuasiriporn in a Monday playoff. Pak made an 18-foot birdie putt on the second hole of sudden death. Pak and Chuasiriporn shot 73 in the playoff after finishing regulation at 6-over 290. ... Top-ranked Yani Tseng leads the tour with three ...
PITTSBURGH — Flanked by major champions and pursued by big names, Joe Daley stuck to his game.
Twenty years after quitting his job as a credit salesman to turn pro, Daley wasn't going to back down.
Not with his first victory on the PGA or Champions tours within reach. Not even with Fred Couples, Mark Calcavecchia and Tom Lehman among those looming.
Daley won the Senior Players Championship on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, closing with a 2-under 68 for a 14-under 266 total and a two-stroke victory over Lehman at Fox Chapel.
Daley outdueled final-round playing partners Calcavecchia — the winner the previous week in the Montreal Championships — and Couples, the defending champion. Daley entered the day tied with Calcavecchia and a shot ahead of Couples and Lehman, who won the previous major last month.
"I was my competition — not them," Daley said. I'm my own competition. Have been for years."
After he won, Daley wore the same grin he had throughout much of a weekend in which he was always near the top of the leaderboard but never the center of attention.
The 51-year-old Daley became slightly choked up on the 18th green after capping his ...
PITTSBURGH — Playing in the final group for the third round of the Champions Tour's third major, relative unknown Joe Daley outplayed an ailing Fred Couples and held off a charging Tom Lehman.
It was another one of the tour's biggest names who ended the day with a long putt to ensure Daley wouldn't have sole possession of the lead as he searches for his first tour victory.
Mark Calcavecchia holed a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for a 6-under 64 on Saturday, moving him into a tie with Daley atop the leaderboard heading into the final round of the Senior Players Championship.
"Capping the day with a 50-footer on the last hole always helps," said Calcavecchia, who won the Montreal Championship last week. "It always makes dinner taste a little bit better. ... All in all, I thought I played great."
Calcavecchia's bogey-free round matched the best of the day and allowed him to match Daley at 12-under 198 at Fox Chapel. Daley, winless on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, had a 68.
Lehman and Couples, the second-round leader and winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., were a stroke back ...
PITTSBURGH — The heat is on at the Senior Players Championship.
Fred Couples is taking advantage of it.
With sweltering temperatures easing the stiffness in his chronically bad back, the defending champion birdied the final three holes Friday for a 7-under 63 and the second-round lead at Fox Chapel.
Couples, the winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., reached 11 under on a day when the temperature reached 96 degrees with a heat index of 105.
"The heat helps," said Couples, the 1992 Masters champion. "I have some heat on my back to start the day, and then being hot and humid certainly was a good thing."
Couples has complained about stiffness all week, saying his back is sore after receiving his regular anti-inflammatory injections two weeks ago. His game hasn't shown it. Couples has one bogey through two rounds, has birdied the two par-5 holes both days and has hit 34 of 36 greens.
He birdied four of the first six holes and closed the same way, with birdies at 13, 16, 17 and 18.
"It was a great day full of a lot of good shots, but a couple long putts were made," Couples ...
PITTSBURGH — Bruce Vaughan shot a 6-under 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Fred Funk in the Senior Players Championship, the third of five Champions Tour majors.
The 55-year-old Vaughan matched the lowest round of his career and tied the first-round record in the event. He won the 2008 Senior British Open for his lone Champions Tour title.
"I've been hitting the ball pretty good lately. The scores just haven't been very good," Vaughan said. "Today, it just kind of clicked."
Vaughan capped his bogey-free round with a birdie on par-5 18th, holing an 8-foot putt after hitting his approach into a greenside bunker.
"It wasn't looking very good, to be honest with you," Vaughan said. "I just executed well and it came off just perfect. When you're playing good, that's the kind of stuff that happens."
Funk had four birdies and a bogey on the final six holes.
"I played pretty solid all day," Funk said. "I had one little hiccup when I missed a little 2-footer on 16, but for the first time, you know how people always say, 'You get it back,' and you always believe you never will, but ...
SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec — Mark Calcavecchia won the Montreal Championship on Sunday for his second Champions Tour title, matching the course record with an 8-under 64 for a two-stroke victory.
The 52-year-old Calcavecchia had six birdies and chipped in for eagle on the par-5 16th hole on Richelieu Valley's Vercheres Course. He finished at 16-under 200.
"I made some nice 4-footers for pars, which were nice," Calcavecchia said. "I get a little shaky on those on occasion and for some reason today I just felt good on them, and then that 16th happened and I figured that even if I bogeyed the last two holes, I'd be fine, which I was.
"Actually, at 17 I hit a bad iron into the green and then I had a Tiger Woods thought. I didn't want to make any bogeys. It would have been easy to just kind of go ahead and miss that putt, make a bogey and who knows what on the last hole, but I really wanted to keep the round clean. I only made two bogeys all week so I thought that playing this golf course all weekend without a bogey was pretty good."
The 1989 British Open ...
SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec — Bob Tway shot a 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Mark Calcavecchia after the second round of the Champions Tour’s Montreal Championship.
The 53-year-old Tway had a 9-under 135 total on Vallee du Richelieu Golf Club’s Vercheres Course.
The Oklahoman had eight birdies, including six in a row on Nos. 7-12. With a chance at matching or breaking the course record of 64, he bogeyed the par-4 18th.
“It was disappointing to finish that way, but it was still a nice round,” Tway said.
Winless on the 50-and-over tour, he won the 2003 Canadian Open for the last of his eight PGA Tour titles.
“I haven’t played like I think I’m capable of playing since I’ve been out here, but that’s just the nature of the game,” said Tway, the 1986 PGA Championship winner. “You keep plugging along and practicing.
“I’m seeing signs of much better play, but my scoring has been poor for a long time. If you don’t chip the ball well, if you don’t wedge the ball well and if you don’t putt the ball well, it’s tough to score ...
SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec — Russ Cochran shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's Montreal Championship.
The 53-year-old left-hander, a three-time winner on the 50-and-over tour, had seven birdies and one bogey on Vallee du Richelieu Golf Club's Vercheres Course.
He birdied each of the four par-5 holes on the 6,950-yard course.
"I think that's a big deal, but you know the fairways are hard to hit on the par 5s," Cochran said. "You've got crosswinds and you've got to take them diagonally over bunkers and then hit the fairway. So you've got to shape the ball right."
Michael Allen, the tour leader with two victories and earnings of $1,071,282, was tied for second with Jerry Pate, Canadian Rod Spittle and 2010 champion Larry Mize.
The tournament is in its first year at Vallee du Richelieu after two years at Fontainebleau in Blainville.
"I heard nothing but good things about it, and I think people see the possibilities in the course setup," Cochran said. "I think there could be a ton of people involved in the finish of the golf tournament."
SAINTE-JULIE, Quebec — Mark O'Meara withdrew from the Champions Tour's Montreal Championship on Thursday because of a lingering cartilage injury to his lower right ribs.
The 1998 Masters and British Open champion hoped to return to action Friday at Richelieu Valley after being sidelined for three months, but he pulled out after the pro-am event.
"I just made the call on the third-to-last hole. I said, 'I don't think I can go,' " O'Meara said. "So, you know, it's a long trip. It's a big trip for me to come all the way up here and try to play and then realize I've got to pull out now. I'm not really happy about it, to be honest with you."
The tournament is in its first year at Vallee du Richelieu after two years at Fontainebleu. Last year, John Cook won the last of three 2011 tour titles, shooting 63-66-66 for a tournament-record 21-under 195 total.
Michael Allen, who leads the tour with two victories and earnings of $1,071,282, is in the field.
DES MOINES, Iowa — The Principal Financial Group will remain the title sponsor of the Champions Tour event in Iowa through 2015, even though it needs to find a new golf course to host the tournament.
Principal announced Tuesday that it has signed a three-year deal to stay on as the main sponsor, but Glen Oaks general manager Bill Kirkendall said the club won’t host the event in 2013. Tournament organizers said they are exploring other courses in greater Des Moines, home of Principal’s headquarters.
Principal senior vice president and tournament board chairman Mary O’Keefe said the company was in discussions to remain as sponsor even before it found out Glen Oaks was out, citing the event’s popularity and its success raising money for children’s charities.
“We think it’s an event and a community happening that should stay in central Iowa,” O’Keefe said. “We feel this is an event that we can find a new home for.”
Kirkendall told The Associated Press that the club simply felt it was time to walk away after hosting the event 11 times.
“We’ve had a great run,” Kirkendall said. “There’s so many great venues in ...
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tom Lehman won his second straight Regions Tradition, finishing the Champions Tour major with a 4-under 68 on Sunday to take a two-stroke victory.
Lehman overcame a near-constant drizzle and occasional heavy rains at Shoal Creek — plus hard charges by Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu — for his sixth Champions Tour victory. Langer and Lu each finished with a 66 to share second behind Lehman's 14-under 274.
The former British Open champion, who shot in the 60s all four days, joins Jack Nicklaus, Gil Morgan and Fred Funk as the only players to win the Tradition multiple times. He played the final hole with his cap turned backward in the rain.
He's the first player to repeat in a senior major championship since Allen Doyle won the U.S. Senior Open in 2005 and 2006. Gil Morgan in 1997 is the only other Tradition winner to post four rounds in the 60s.
Lehman won $335,000 with his first victory since last year's Regions Tradition, a 13-month drought. Lehman is the 11th winner of 2012.
After beating Peter Senior in a playoff last year, Lehman didn't have to sweat this one out nearly as ...
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Defending champion Tom Lehman shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Regions Tradition, a Champions Tour major.
Lehman had a 10-under 206 total at Shoal Creek. Peter Senior, a playoff loser to Lehman last year, and Jeff Sluman were tied for second. Senior shot 66, and Sluman 70 on an overcast, gusty and sometimes drizzly day.
Bill Glasson held the lead for all but the tournament's first hole coming into the day, but fell three shots back with a 74. He was tied with Russ Cochran, Brad Bryant and Fred Funk. Bryant and Funk shot 71, and Cochran had a 72.
With stormy weather expected Sunday, the final round is scheduled for an early two-tee start.