Champions Golf Tour
Wiebe beats Mason in playoff at Greater Hickory Classic



Conover, NC (Sports Network) - Mark Wiebe two-putted for par on the third playoff hole Sunday to beat James Mason and win the Greater Hickory Classic.

Wiebe and Mason both closed with seven-under 65s to end at 19-under-par 197.

They returned to the par-five 18th for the first playoff hole. After they both made birdie putts from a similar spot, the horn sounded for a weather delay.

After an hour wait, the duo returned to the 18th again. This time they both made par, and it was off to the 17th at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa.

Wiebe and Mason both hit the green on the par-three, but Wiebe was much further away. He rolled his birdie effort five feet past the cup, then Mason ran his four feet by the hole.

Wiebe converted his par-saver, but Mason's par putt broke across the hole and missed on the left edge. The win for Wiebe was his third on the Champions Tour.

"I'm thrilled to win, but sad it ended that way because that didn't seem the right way to end," Wiebe said on television.

Mason, who on Monday qualified to get into this event, was playing in his first Champions Tour tournament of the season.

"I played as well as I know how to play. For me to shoot 19-under par, with some of my putting being weak, I had a great week," Mason said in a television interview. "I hated that it ended like that."

Fred Funk, who will compete in the U.S. Open next week, fired a 10-under 62 in the final round to share third place with Chip Beck (66) at minus-18.

Wiebe and Mason were both chasing Funk, who birdied six of the first eight holes to jump to 14-under.

Around the turn, Funk carded four more birdies in a six-hole stretch to jump to 18-under. He dodged a few bullets when others couldn't match him there, but Wiebe and Mason not only matched him, they went by him as well.

Wiebe, in the penultimate threesome, poured in three straight birdies from the third. After a par on No. 6, Wiebe birdied the seventh and eighth to get within one of Funk at minus-17.

The 53-year-old Wiebe parred the first five holes around the turn. He tied Funk with a birdie on the 15th, then birdied the par-five 18th to finish first at 19-under.

Mason opened with a birdie on No. 1, but didn't collect his next birdie until the sixth. He followed with another birdie on No. 7. Mason had three birdies in a five-hole span from the 12th to match Funk.

The 61-year-old Mason two-putted for birdie on the 18th to join Wiebe in the playoff.

"I thought he'd make it," Wiebe said in a television interview of Mason's eagle effort on the 18th. "He shot 62 in the qualifying to get into this tournament and he was making shots everywhere."

NOTES: Wiebe earned $262,500 for the victory...Kenny Perry also fired a 10- under 62 Sunday to match Funk for low round of the day...Last year's winner, Gary Hallberg, closed with a 67 to share 52nd place at minus-eight...In two weeks, the tour heads to New York for the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, where Loren Roberts won last year.

06/13 11:36:28 ET