Lehman Defends Regions Tradition Title


Tom Lehman fired his second straight 4-under 68 to finish at 14-under 274 to successfully defend his title in the Regions Traditions. The $2.2 million, 72-hole event - the Champions Tour's second major of the year - was held at Shoal Creek in Alabama.

The final round was held in a constant drizzle and sometimes heavy rain. Though he's not fond of playing in precipitation, Lehman was undaunted. "I don't mind any condition other than rain," Lehman said. "I don't like playing in rain. It makes me really uncomfortable. I just feel like I lose the rhythm of my swing.

"Today was a real test of perseverance, just trying to move the ball forward. Don't try to bite off too much, don't get too aggressive. Just play shots I know I can hit."

Finishing two strokes back at 276 were Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu, who both posted 66s Sunday. Fred Couples rallied with a 65 to end up in solo fourth at 278.

The win was Lehman's sixth on the senior circuit - including three majors - following five titles on the PGA Tour. On Sunday he had six birdies and two bogeys, including one on the par-5 17th.

Langer tried his best to put some heat on Lehman, who entered Sunday with a two-stroke lead. "My goal was to get off to a good start and put pressure on him, to make him win the tournament and not let him have a three- or four-shot lead the whole day," said Langer. "That would be too easy . . . but he responded extremely well to it."

Russ Cochran and early leader Bill Glasson ended up sharing fifth at 279; both posted 70s. Brad Bryant (71) and Jeff Sluman tied for seventh at 280, while Michael Allen (67) and Fred Funk (72) both finished at 281.

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