Jack Nicklaus was a champion again Sunday.
He won his third Tradition title in six years, beating Isao Aoki on the third playoff hole.
Nicklaus, winner of this event in 1990 and 1991, sank a 4-foot birdie putt to win the first major on the Senior PGA Tour on a day when stiff gusts complicated play.
Nicklaus, 55, and Aoki, 52, played the last three holes of regulation and the first two playoff holes even after the Japanese star holed out from the fairway for an eagle-3 on the 15th hole to catch up.
They parred No. 18 and then No. 17 during the playoff before teeing off on 18 for the third time in 45 minutes. Aoki bogeyed the hole after overshooting the green on his third shot, and Nicklaus had two shots to spare when he lined up his final putt.
In 1980, Nicklaus won the U.S. Open by two strokes over Aoki, sometimes called the “Japanese Nicklaus” after winning 62 titles worldwide.
Nicklaus, Aoki and Jim Ferree all shot 5-under-par 67s Sunday. The playoff contestants finished at 12-under 276, and Ferree took third at 277.
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