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Schulz hangs on to win First Tee Open



Pebble Beach, CA (Sports Network) - Champions Tour rookie Ted Schulz earned his first win in 19 years Sunday by shooting a two-under 70 in the final round of the First Tee Open.

Schulz picked up a birdie at the 17th hole and finished at 14-under 202 to beat Tom Pernice Jr. by a shot and Tom Kite and Mark Calcavecchia by two.

It was the first victory for Schulz since he won the 1991 Los Angeles Open on the PGA Tour. The 50-year-old was making just his 12th start on the Champions Tour.

"I just tried to play real solid golf and stick to my game plan and do what I've been doing," said Schulz, who earned $270,000 for the victory. "I felt going in that if I could shoot four-under I'd win. It happened that two-under was good enough."

Pernice shot a 67 to move from fourth place into solo second at 13-under 203.

Kite and Calcavecchia both shot 69s to share third place at 12-under 204, while Fred Couples (68) finished another stroke further back at 11-under 205.

Trying to accomplish something he hadn't done in nearly two decades, Schulz started the final round at Pebble Beach with a three-shot lead over Kite and Calcavecchia after shooting a 64 on Saturday.

Nervous about the final round and battling a cold he got from his caddie, Schulz said he got up four times during the night. He fought to shake off his nerves on Sunday.

"Once I got warmed up a little bit, I felt calm," he said.

Schulz made an early birdie at No. 2 and was fighting to stay atop a leaderboard that was bunching up behind him. He was still ahead by three strokes after holing a 15-footer for eagle at No. 6.

But Schulz made bogeys at the eighth and 11th holes -- three-putting for the second one -- to let the field back in.

He headed to the par-three 17th hole in a three-way tie for the lead with Kite and Pernice at 13-under par. Schulz birdied the hole to take a one-shot lead, rolling in a 12-foot putt after hitting "a perfect seven-iron" into the green.

Pernice missed a 25-foot birdie try ahead at the 18th, and Schulz was able to close out the win with a routine par. He didn't know that until his third shot at the last hole.

"I knew I was close because the guys were in my face with the camera all day," said Schulz.

The victory ended a drought of 19 years, six months and 12 days since his triumph in Los Angeles in 1991, Schulz's second title on the PGA Tour.

NOTES: Jeff Sluman, who entered the tournament as the two-time defending champion, tied for 14th place...Play rotated over two courses -- Del Monte and Pebble Beach -- for the first two rounds...Next week is the Songdo Championship in South Korea, which is a new event on the Champions Tour schedule.

09/05 22:05:11 ET


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