September 30, 2013 in Sports

Triplett successfully defends tournament title

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Kirk Triplett holds the trophy after winning the First Tee Open tourney.
(Full-size photo)

Kirk Triplett successfully defended his First Tee Open title Sunday at Pebble Beach, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Doug Garwood and Dan Forsman.

Three strokes behind leader Tom Lehman entering the round, Triplett finished at 11-under 205 in Pebble Beach, Calif., for his second career Champions Tour title. Last year, the three-time PGA Tour winner overcame a four-shot deficit.

“Last year was a dream come true to win for the first time at Pebble Beach,” said Triplett, who had a bogey-free final round and seven consecutive birdies on par 5s in the last two rounds. “To do it again, I am a bit overwhelmed. Last year, I was just so excited. This year, I am almost teary-eyed.”

Triplett was born in Moses Lake and graduated from Pullman High School.

Garwood, a Monday qualifier making his fourth career start on the 50-and-over tour, and Forsman each shot 69. Lehman was fourth at 8 under after a 74.

Triplett held two-shot advantage over Garwood, Forsman and Lehman with three holes left, but had to scramble. He hit his tee shot into the rough on the par-4 16th and saved his par after chipping to 2 feet.

Triplett hit his tee shot on the par-3 17th into a bunker, and saved par again to remain two shots ahead.

After an opening round 67 at Del Monte, Triplett followed with a second-round 70 at Pebble Beach. He had only three bogeys in the tournament.

“I’ve played the 20 AT&T and 20 Callaway events and a couple of U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach,” Triplett said. “I knew it would be a dogfight. But I just have a great affinity for the place.”

Triplett earned $280,000 in the $1.8 million event.

<h3>Web.com Tour

Chesson Hadley won the Web.com Tour Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. John Peterson won a trip back to the TPC Sawgrass to play in a far bigger tournament.

The tournament wrapped up the inaugural Web.com Tour Finals – four tournaments in which 25 cards were awarded based on the money list from those events. The tournaments were for the top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list during the regular season, and Nos. 126-200 from the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour. The top 25 from the Web.com regular season were already assured their cards.

The tournaments also determined the final priority ranking, which in turn determines the pecking order for the 50 who earned cards for the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.

Spokane’s Alex Prugh, who had already earned a card before playing in the four tournaments, ended up with a priority ranking of 42.

He finished the tournament with a total of 5-over 285 after shooting a 76 on Sunday.

Peterson won the Web.com Finals money list by $567 over Hadley. By winning the Web.com Finals money list, he has full status on the PGA Tour next year and a spot in The Players Championship, the richest tournament in golf.

Hadley finished at 10-under 270 and still earned $180,000 and a high priority ranking for his rookie season on the PGA Tour.

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