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Lehman Ekes out Win in Allianz Championship


Thanks to a birdie on the final hole, Tom Lehman edged past Jeff Sluman and Rod Spittle to win the Allianz Championship. The Champions Tour event was held at the Old Course at Broken Sound in Boca Raton, Fla.

Lehman had five birdies and two bogeys to close with a 3-under 69 and finish at 13-under 203 in the 54-hole tournament. The victory, Lehman's third on the over-50 circuit, was worth $255,000.

Sluman and Spittle ended up at 12-under. Lehman got past those two players by making a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th for the win.

"It was an inside, left-center putt," Lehman said of the putt in a televised interview. "If you get it on line, it's going to go in. This is why you play golf. This is why you practice - to put yourself in the position to have to hit good shots and good putts to win. Rod put the pressure on all day. He never gave up. Sometimes, when you have to work at it a little bit, it makes it much more special.

"There's a lot of great players out here," Lehman added. "They really bring out the best in all of us. I'm happy with where I'm at."

Russ Cochran (70) and Olin Browne (67) ended up tied for fourth at 206, while Jim Rutledge (67), first-round leader Jay Don Blake (70) and 65-year-old Hale Irwin (71) were in sixth at 207.

Second-round leader Peter Senior had a tough time Sunday as the Australian carded three bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-5 sixth hole for a 5-over 77. He fell into a tie for 17th at 6-under with six other players, including defending champion Bernhard Langer (70).