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Nicklaus & Watson defend title

Defending champions Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson defeated Bruce Fleisher and David Graham 4 and 2 today to win the Senior PGA Tour Hyundai Team Matches.

In the PGA Tour portion of the competition, Duffy Waldorf sank a 5-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff to lift him and partner Tom Lehman to a 1-up victory over defending champions Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia.

On the LPGA side, Dottie Pepper sank an 8-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff to give her and partner Juli Inkster their fourth consecutive match play championship win over five years. The duo defeated Annika Sorenstam and Lorie Kane.

Nicklaus and Watson are unbeaten in eight team matches together, including four times in Ryder Cup competition. They carded eight birdies and will share the $200,000 first prize. Fleisher and Graham will share $100,000.

"For some reason I have an attitude in match play that I really need to make the putt because there is a definitive outcome on that putt to what happens in the match and on that hole,'' Nicklaus said. "I said to Tom a couple of times that we were facing a key putt.

"So when you make it and stuff it down their throats it demoralizes the other guys. Sometimes, if you miss that putt you open the door for the other guys.''

Waldorf and Lehman birdied 11 holes in their match, including the last four as neither team could gain a lead of more than one hole.

"The key to the match was that no one ever got more than one up,'' Lehman said.

Waldorf said players also can make mistakes and still prosper.

"And you are able to shake off a bad hole because if you shoot a high number it's just one hole lost,'' Waldorf said.

In addition to the $200,000 first prize, each of the six players from the three winning teams won a got a Hyundai automobile.

The $1.2 million event is the only team match play competition on the professional tours. The Ryder Cup uses team match play scoring but does not use a team format throughout as the final day consists of individual matches. Match play scoring is determined by the lowest score per team on each hole. The team winning the most holes wins the match.

PGA Tour (6,857 yards)

Final: Tom Lehman-Duffy Waldorf def. Fred Couples-Mark Calcavecchia, 20th hole.

Consolation: Steve Flesch-Jean Van de Velde def. Phil Mickelson-Rocco Mediate, 1-up.

LPGA Tour (6,346 yards)

Final: Juli Inkster-Dottie Pepper def. Annika Sorenstam-Lorie Kane, 21st hole.

Consolation: Beth Daniel-Meg Mallon def. Grace Park-Kelli Kuehne, 6 and 4.

Senior PGA Tour (6,697 yards)

Final: Jack Nicklaus-Tom Watson def. Steve Fleisher-David Graham, 4 and 2.

Consolation: Dana Quigley-Allen Doyle def. Gary McCord-John Jacobs, 4 and 2.

 

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