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Frost Gets Past Couples to Win Regions Tradition
David Frost closed with a 4-under 68 to edge Fred Couples by a stroke and win the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Alabama. The victory, worth $335,000, was the fifth Champions Tour title for the 53-year-old and Frost's first major title on the over-50 circuit.
Frost's closest pursuer Sunday was Couples, who began the day a shot behind the South African. But Couples, seeking his ninth Champions Tour victory and third senior major, couldn't birdie either of the final two holes and shot 68 to fall a stroke short of forcing a sudden-death playoff.
In what turned out to be a two-player shootout, Frost carded five birdies and a bogey in the final round, while Couples, a 53-year-old from Seattle, had six birdies and a pair of bogeys. Couples, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year, is the 2013 U.S. Presidents Cup captain.
Frost finished at 16-under 272. The win was his second of the year following his triumph in the Toshiba Classic in March.
The final round was delayed for just over an hour as lightning came through the area. Some of the round was played in a driving rain.
"We came in from the break and I said to myself, it's not going to be easy," Frost said of his attitude facing the battle-tested Couples. "Freddy's got nothing to lose. He's going to go out there and hit the shots and fire at the pins. I've just got to kind of accept it and be up to the challenge."
Couples, who gave Frost a fist-pump at the conclusion of play, tipped his cap to the winner. "He played very well. I gave him pretty much everything I had. I hit some pretty good shots. I drove it pretty well. He was just better the whole day. He stayed one ahead and that's where we ended up."
Sharing third at 275 were John Cook (66) and Mexico's Esteban Toledo (67). Another stroke back were Russ Cochran (67), Michael Allen (70) and Duffy Waldorf (70).
"We were running all day trying to outrun it," Cook said of the tricky weather conditions. "I guess this is the very definition of scattered thunderstorms. They were all over the place."
Tied for eighth at 11-under 277 were Morris Hatalsky (71) and first-round leader Jeff Sluman, who closed with a 69. Another stroke back were Kirk Triplett (68) and Charles Schwab Cup points' leader Bernhard Langer, who carded the low round of the tournament, a 9-under 63.
"If I had made some putts earlier in the week," the German Hall of Fame member told reporters, "it would have been pretty nice."
Defending champion Tom Lehman closed with a 1-over 73 to end up sharing 22nd at 6-under 282.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html. ;