Triplett wins third Champions tourney
Kirk Triplett won the ACE Group Classic for his third Champions Tour title, holing a 6-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory in Naples, Fla.
The 51-year-old Triplett, a Moses Lake native and Pullman High School graduate, shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 16-under 200 on TwinEagles’ Talon Course. He won the 50-and-over tour’s Pebble Beach event the last two years after winning three times on the PGA Tour.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer, Duffy Waldorf and Olin Browne tied for second. Playing in the final threesome, Triplett, Langer and Waldorf were tied for the lead with a hole to play.
On the par-4 18th, Waldorf drove into a bunker and wound up with a bogey for a 66. Langer’s second shot sailed left, and his 12-footer for par curled around the cup for bogey and a 67.
Triplett’s second shot from a divot landed about 25 feet from the pin. His birdie putt went past the hole and he made the 6-footer for the victory.
Bubba Watson wasn’t about to let another chance get away.
Two weeks after Watson made a pair of late bogeys in the Phoenix Open, he delivered the best closing round at Riviera in some three decades. Watson played the final 39 holes without a bogey and shot a 7-under 64 to win the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles.
It was his first victory in 22 months and 41 tournaments worldwide dating to the 2012 Masters.
Watson wound up with a two-shot victory over Dustin Johnson, who closed with a 66 for the second straight week and got the same result.
Watson, who also shot 64 on Saturday to start the final round four shots behind William McGirt, made up ground so quickly that he broke out of a four-way tie for the lead with a birdie on the eighth hole and made the turn in 30. Equally critical were a pair of par saves with 7-foot putts on the 12th and 13th holes.
Johnson, who was second at Pebble Beach last week after a final-round 66, made birdie on the 15th hole to get within one shot. He didn’t give himself good birdie chances on the last three holes.
Watson finished at 15-under 269 to earn the fifth victory of his career. And when it was over, he felt a lot better than he did two weeks ago in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he missed a short par putt on the last hole to lose by one to Kevin Stadler.
Australia’s Karrie Webb won the Women’s Australian Open in Melbourne for the record fifth time, shooting a 4-under 68 to beat South Africa’s Chella Choi by a stroke.
The 39-year-old Webb finished at 12-under 276 at Victoria GC.