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Watson named Champions Player of the Year

Tom Watson capped an emotional season Sunday when he was voted Champions Tour player of the year, giving him a sweep of the major awards for the 50-and-older circuit.

Watson won two of the five major championships on the Champions Tour, but his year is remembered equally for the support he gave his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who has Lou Gehrig's disease.

``As great as Tom's achievements were on the golf course, he outdid himself off it, displaying dedication and compassion for a very good friend who happens to be his caddie,'' PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. ``He is a shining example of what is truly good about our sport.''

It was the first time Watson, 54, won the Champions Tour player of the year, which is decided by a vote of his peers.

He also won the points-based Charles Schwab Cup and donated the $1 million annuity to research and patient care for Lou Gehrig's disease. Watson won the money list with $1.8 million, and his scoring average of 68.31 also was tops on the Champions Tour.

Craig Stadler, who turned 50 in June, was voted rookie of the year for his three victories, including a major.

Don Pooley was voted comeback player on the Champions Tour. He had shoulder surgery in January that caused him to miss the first 12 tournaments, but returned to win in consecutive weeks.

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