Triplett defends First Tee Open title
Pebble Beach, CA (Sports Network) - Kirk Triplett carded a 4-under 68 on Sunday to successfully defend his title at the First Tee Open.
Triplett earned his second career victory on the Champions Tour at 11-under- par 205.
"Last year was a dream come true to win a golf tournament at Pebble Beach," said Triplett. "It's one of my most favorite places in the world, and to do it again I'm just a little bit overwhelmed. Last year I was just so excited and this year I'm almost teary eyed just thinking about it."
Doug Garwood and Dan Forsman shot matching 3-under 69s at Pebble Beach to share second place at 9-under 207, while second-round leader Tom Lehman tripped to a 2-over 74 to finish in fourth at minus-8.
Russ Cochran (74) sat alone in fifth at 7-under, a shot ahead of Willie Wood (69) and John Cook (72).
Lehman entered the final round with a 1-stroke lead over Cochran, and that advantage quickly stretched to two after Cochran bogeyed the first to fall to 8-under.
Lehman birdied the second to claim a 3-stroke lead, but then bogeyed the third to fall back to 10-under.
Triplett pulled within a shot of the lead with a pair of birdies at the second and third before Lehman regained his 2-stroke cushion with a gain at the fourth.
Triplett answered with a birdie at the sixth to again move within a shot of the lead. Lehman then tripped to a bogey at the sixth to fall into a tie with Triplett and Cochran, who birdied the fourth and sixth to reach 10-under.
Cochran fell off the pace with a bogey at the eighth before Lehman also dropped a shot at the ninth to hand the outright lead to Triplett.
Bernhard Langer briefly grabbed a share of the lead with his third birdie of the day at the 11th, but he followed that with a bogey at the 12th and a double bogey at the 13th to drop well behind.
Lehman kicked in a short birdie effort at the 13th to again join Triplett atop the leaderboard at 10-under.
Triplett, however, birdied the 14th to reclaim the outright lead, while Lehman bogeyed the 14th to fall to 9-under and hand Triplett a 2-stroke advantage.
No one would get closer than that for the remainder of the day, allowing Triplett to par his final four holes to secure the victory.
"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."
NOTES: Triplett also won the team competition with his First Tee playing partner Michelle Xie ... Triplett is the first player to defend his title since Lehman won back-to-back Regions Traditions in 2011 and 2012. Second- round leaders have now won just 10 of 21 tournaments this season ... Triplett was the only player to post a bogey-free round on Sunday.
09/29 23:08:38 ET