Lehman wins Tradition playoff over Senior|
Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) - Tom Lehman parred the second playoff hole to
defeat Peter Senior and win the Tradition, the first major of the year on the
Lehman shot three-under 69 to match Senior, who closed with a four-under 68,
at 13-under-par 275 at Shoal Creek.
The duo returned to the 18th for the first extra hole. Lehman missed the green
right, but managed to get up and down for par while Senior two-putted for par
from about 18 feet.
Back on the 18th, the players exchanged places from the first extra hole.
Senior, playing from the left rough like Lehman did the first time through,
also missed the green to the right.
Lehman was in the fairway off the tee, like Senior was on the first playoff
hole, and dropped his approach to about 18 feet in nearly the same spot Senior
Senior pitched his third to seven feet and Lehman missed his birdie putt short
and to the right. He tapped in for par, then watched as Senior missed his par-
saving putt on the left edge.
"I played the first playoff hole good, hit it down exactly where I did in
regulation play, so I knew exactly what club it was," Senior explained. "I did
exactly what Tom did the second time as he did the first time. He hit a better
chip. I thought I hit a pretty good putt, but it just didn't turn. So pretty
disappointing, but again, I had a great week."
Lehman collected his fifth Champions Tour win and third this season. It was
his second major championship on the Champions Tour to go with last year's
Senior PGA Championship.
"I've been playing well. Things do have to go your way, but I've been working
really hard and last year I felt I didn't get as much out of my game as I
thought I should have," Lehman admitted. "This year, I expected to play well,
but I got off to a really good start."
Loren Roberts fired a seven-under 65 to take third place at 11-under-par 277.
Michael Allen closed with a 69 to take fourth at minus-10.
Mark Calcavecchia, who led after the second and third rounds, stumbled to a
three-over 75 in the final round to slide into a share of fifth place at nine-
Everyone was looking up at Calcavecchia most of the round, but he was again
done in by the par-four 12th. He drove right behind a tree and chose to pitch
back to the fairway.
Calcavecchia knocked his third within six feet. However, he three-putted for a
double-bogey to fall into a share of the lead at minus-12. He also double-
bogeyed the 12th in the third round.
From there, Calcavecchia's slide continued. He bogeyed three of the last four
holes to end four strokes back.
Lehman birdied the fourth and ninth to get to minus-12, where he was tied for
the lead with Calcavecchia. After four straight pars, Lehman converted a 10-
foot birdie try on the 15th to grab the lead.
Senior had birdies on the fourth and sixth, but dropped a shot on No. 7. He
got that stroke back with a birdie on the 11th. Senior got within one thanks
to a birdie on the 14th.
The Australian birdied the 17th to join Lehman in the lead. Senior parred the
last, then watched Lehman play No. 18.
Lehman had about 20 feet for birdie, but was unable to make the birdie putt.
He made par, then beat Senior on the second extra hole.
Calcavecchia shared fifth place with Jay Haas (74), Kenny Perry (72), Nick
Price (70) and Eduardo Romero (67).
NOTES: Lehman, who won the 1996 British Open on the PGA Tour, earned $330,000
for the win...Roberts, a 12-time winner on the Champions Tour, posted his
first top-10 in seven starts this season...After a two-week break, the
Champions Tour returns to action for its second major championship, the Senior
PGA, where Lehman is the reigning champion.
05/08 20:59:14 ET