Friday, April 18, 2014
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Perry teams with O’Hair to win Shootout

NAPLES, Fla. — Kenny Perry and Sean O’Hair birdied five of the last six holes to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout on Sunday.

The 52-year-old Perry became the oldest player to win the Shootout, and also won for the third time with a different partner. He won with John Huston in 2005 and Scott Hoch in 2008. Perry joins Steve Elkington, Fred Couples, Brad Faxon and Scott McCarron with three Shootout wins; Elkington and Couples also won with three different partners.

“All three have been different,” Perry said of his Shootout victories. “John and I were pretty even partners, and then the year Scott and I won, I played fantastic that week. … This year, my roles have been reversed, and I was complementing Sean.”

“I think that was kind of the best thing about this was just we had a ton of fun, just like being a kid enjoying what you’re doing,” O’Hair said.

Rory Sabbatini and Charles Howell III made a charge on the back nine that included an eagle on a par-4 but finished one stroke back at 30-under 186. They had a 15-under 57 in the scramble format in the final round on the Gold Course at Tiburon Golf Club.

“We played really well and gave ourselves a lot of opportunities,” Sabbatini said. “We put a good number up there and that’s all we can really do. We had a lot of fun and Charles hit the ball fantastically.”

Jason Dufner and Vijay Singh finished third at 28 under.

Perry and O’Hair became the seventh second-round leaders to go on to win the tournament in the last 12 years. While other teams were making charges at them, and sometimes briefly catching them, they had fewer holes left to play than Perry and O’Hair.

“I knew they were going to probably catch up to us at some point, but I knew we had holes to catch back up to them,” Perry said. “You can’t really get too far ahead of yourself out there in that field. You just kind of play each hole.”

Stewart Cink and Carl Pettersson, first-round leaders Davis Love III and Brandt Snedeker, and 2009 champions Jerry Kelly and Steve Stricker were another shot back in a tie for fourth.

Love and Snedeker could never get going.

“We put the ball in the fairway all day, but never really got close into the greens,” Love said. “We were 15 to 30 feet all day today, and we weren’t as sharp this weekend as we were Friday.”

Perry and O’Hair led by two shots going into the final round. They will split $750,000 of the $3 million purse.

Senior wins wind-delayed Australian Open

SYDNEY — Peter Senior won the Australian Open by one stroke Sunday, overcoming severe weather conditions that forced a three-hour suspension because of gale-force winds.

The 53-year-old regular on the U.S. Champions Tour shot an even-par 72 in the final round at The Lakes to become the oldest Australian Open champion. Senor finished with a total of 4-under 284, keeping his composure while several other contenders struggled with the winds to drop down the field.

Fellow Australian Brendan Jones was second after a 71, while countryman Cameron Percy finished third after a 73, two strokes behind.

England’s Justin Rose finished in a tie for fourth after a 76, three strokes behind Senior.

“Winning the PGA a couple of years ago up at Coolum was great, but I tell you what, nothing beats winning right here,” Senior said.

Senior had 10 top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour this year, but no wins. That made the victory Sunday — with his son Mitch caddying — all the more special.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” Senior said. “We’ve had three years on the Champions Tour where Mitch has caddied for me for the last two years, and we’ve lost three playoffs, so it feels unbelievable to win with him on the bag.”

The previous oldest Australian Open champion was five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson at the age of 43 in 1972. Senior won the Australian Open for the first time as a 30-year-old in 1989.

On Sunday morning, gusts of up to 50 mph during a southerly wind change caused one television tower to topple, balls to move on the fairways and greens and sand to be blown from bunkers and into the galleries and fairways.

The gusty winds remained after play resumed, and third-round leader John Senden shot 82, second-round leader Marcus Fraser had an 81 and Adam Scott carded 76 to finish well of the pace.

Joining them, defending champion Greg Chalmers and Geoff Ogilvy each shot 77s. But 1984 champion Tom Watson was lucky to have started early Sunday morning, shooting a 69 before the storm hit to climb into a tie for 28th.

Tournament chief Trevor Herden said officials had no alternative but to suspend play when the fierce winds hit the course just before midday in Sydney.

“Obviously there’s nothing we can do to protect anybody other than to get them out of danger,” Herden said. “We have an obligation to the public and the players and then there’s the golf course, which at that point became unplayable.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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