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Triplett Outlasts Langer & Waldorf
It came down to three players and the final hole to determine the winner of the ACE Group Classic. In the end, Kirk Triplett sank a six-foot par putt to edge Bernhard Langer and Duffy Waldorf to win the $1.6 million Champions Tour on the Talon course at TwinEagles Golf Club in Naples, Fla.
The three came to the water-guarded, 457-yard par-4 - the tournament's toughest hole all week - tied at 16-under par. Waldorf, who entered Sunday sharing the lead with Langer, put his drive into a bunker left of the fairway. Langer, the defending champion, found the short grass, about 10 yards in front of Triplett, whose ball stopped in a divot.
Waldorf splashed out to around 100 yards, while Langer double-crossed his approach and pulled it left of the green. Triplett hit his 175-yard second to about 18 feet left of the cup. Waldorf placed his third near the hole, but it spun back 20 feet away. Langer's chip was excellent, but it rolled downhill 12 feet past the hole.
Putting first, Waldorf - a two-time PGA Tour winner in search of his first title on the over-50 circuit, missed his par attempt. Triplett next rolled his ball six feet beyond the cup. Langer's par try barely missed. At that point, it was up to the 51-year-old Triplett, who calmly sank his par putt for his third Champions Tour victory, this one worth $240,000.
"I'm excited to wiggle that last putt in," Triplett said at greenside. "That's a tough pin placement."
Triplett closed with a 6-under 66 to finish at 16-under 200 in the 54-hole event, a mere shot ahead of Langer (67), Waldorf (66) and Olin Browne, who moved into a share of second with a 66.
Alone in fifth at 204 was Jay Haas, who matched the low round of the day, an 8-under 64, while another stroke back were Michael Allen (67) and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie (69). Mark Calcavecchia (66), Mike Goodes (68) and Billy Andrade (68) tied for eighth at 208.
Sharing 11th were Australia's Peter Senior (65), Canadians Jim Rutledge - who shot the other 64 - and Rod Spittle (69), Wes Short Jr. (67), Tommy Armour III (69) and Bob Tway (72).
Reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Kenny Perry closed with a 72 to end up tied for 23rd at 4-under 212.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/champions/leaderboard.html.