Bayer Advantage Classic
Bayer Advantage Classic
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Dana Quigley wins three way playoff

After waiting all day to play one hole of golf, Dana Quigley played it to perfection.

Quigley made an 11-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Monday to beat Tom Watson and Gil Morgan in the rain-shortened Bayer Advantage Classic.

Watson, the hometown favorite who also lost to Quigley in a playoff in the season-opening event in Hawaii, had a chance to win in regulation. But he left a long birdie putt hanging on the lip on his final hole, bringing a groan from the big gallery.

Watson played 12 holes Monday, finishing off a 6-under 66 to join Quigley and Morgan, who finished their rounds before rain suspended play Sunday, at 11-under 133. Rain washed out play Saturday, reducing the tournament to 36 holes for the third time in four years.

Quigley, playing his 261st straight Champions Tour tournament, hit a 6-iron to 11 feet on the 442-yard 18th in the playoff. Watson and Morgan each two-putted for par after leaving their approach shots much farther away.

``I really, really tried to birdie that hole. And that was the hardest that hole had played all week with the wind the way it was,'' Quigley said. ``I hit two of my best shots of the week right there.''

The 58-year-old Quigley has been on the roll of a lifetime, winning $761,200 in his last six events and never finishing lower than seventh. He beat Watson in sudden death to win the MasterCard Championship.

``For me to be on this ride, with such a positive mental outlook, it's something I think all players try to achieve and very few get to this position where I am,'' said Quigley, a 10-time winner on the Champions Tour. ``It's an amazing way to play golf when you're never worried about anything. It's just unbelievable.''

For Watson, it was another close, disappointing attempt to win in his hometown. He also lost to Quigley by one shot in regulation in 2000, when Quigley sank a 12-foot putt on No. 18.

``It was a familiar scene,'' Watson said. ``He made the putt again. He's 2-for-2 against me. I've got to do something about that boy.''

Watson started the final round on the back nine and was 8 under through six holes when play was stopped. He birdied the par-3 17th, then holed a short putt for a birdie on No. 3 to pull within a stroke of Morgan and Quigley.

He caught them with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 fifth hole.

Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course and had suggested this could be his final tournament action on U.S. soil, shot a 73 each day.

Asked after his round if this was indeed his final competitive round in the United States, the Golden Bear said in a television interview, ``I have no idea. I always reserve the right to play in the Memorial Tournament. I might do that.''

But later he told reporters that he felt a nostalgic tug when he prepared to hit his drive on the final hole.

``As I walked to the 18th hole, as I hit my tee shot, I thought, `Yeah, this is probably going to be the last tournament round of golf I play here in the United States,''' said Nicklaus, who will play the British Open next month.

``I want to end as a golfer, not as a worn-out celebrity. And that's the way I'm ending it, and I don't like that. I want to end it as a golfer, to play my best.''

Jerry Pate closed with a 65 to finish a stroke out of the playoff at 10 under, and Dan Pohl (68) followed at 9 under.

Tournament heads for a Monday finish

Gil Morgan and Dana Quigley, the leaders in the clubhouse when rain suspended play, will have to wait until Monday afternoon to find out whether they'll meet in a sudden-death playoff for the Champions Tour's Bayer Advantage Classic title.

When the storm system that has plagued this tournament all week forced suspension on Sunday, three players were still on the course within three strokes of the leaders.

Play was delayed three times on Sunday and was scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. ET, weather permitting, with 36 pros still on the course. Forty had finished when the unrelenting rains once again pummeled the Nicklaus Golf Club at LionsGate.

The tournament was shortened to 36 holes when rain washed out Saturday's round.

Morgan, with an early tee time, shot a 5-under 68 on Sunday and Quigley came in a short time later with a 66, tying him with Morgan at 11-under 133.

When play was halted, Rodger Davis was 8 under for the tournament through nine holes, Dan Pohl was 8 under through 11 and hometown favorite Tom Watson, after reeling off two straight birdies just ahead of the rain, was 8 under through six.

"I think Tom has a chance to win," said Jack Nicklaus, who designed the course and was playing with Watson. "He's playing very well."

Nicklaus, playing in the pro-am with son Steve, was 3 under through six holes for the day and 2 under for the tournament while drawing a huge gallery.

Morgan, whose 65 on Friday gave him a share of the lead with R.W. Eaks, had 12 birdies during the two rounds and one three-putt bogey on the par-4 seventh on Sunday.

Quigley barely missed a 7-foot birdie putt on No. 18. As it slid off the left side of the cup, he dropped to his knees.

"I hit the putt too solid. It just went through the break just a little bit," said Quigley, who won this tournament in 2000 and is having his best year on the Champion's Tour with one win and seven top-10 finishes.

"I'm even starting to believe I can win every week," he said. "I have not ever been in this frame of mine as far as golf is concerned. I believe these guys have got to beat me now."

Nicklaus, who has been paired with Watson, said he would stick around for Monday's play despite a schedule full of meetings.

"That's part of the deal. I guess I'm not used to playing golf tournaments anymore," he said. "I make meetings on Mondays."

Disputing earlier reports, Nicklaus has made it clear this week that the Bayer Advantage Classic may not be his last tournament on U.S. soil. He said on Thursday that he might prefer that his last round be at the Memorial, which he hosts every year in Dublin, Ohio.

Nevertheless, people in the large gallery trooping along with him and Watson sensed they could be watching a special moment in golf.

"This is historic, really -- it's very exciting," said Roger Hoskins of Kansas City, straining to get as close as possible to the gallery ropes.

"How many people can say they saw Babe Ruth play his last baseball game? In my opinion, Jack's the greatest golfer who ever lived."

It's the third time in four years that Kansas City's Champions Tour event has been shortened to 36 holes by rain. This year's problems began on Wednesday night when a wind storm uprooted trees near the course and blew down the large tent which had been set up for the media, destroying computers, TVs, copy machines and tables.

"People in Kansas City have tried very diligently to put on a Champion's Tour event," said Morgan. "They've been cursed by the weather.

"The golf course, for as much rain as they got, held up pretty well. It was pretty wet out there in some places, a lot of casual water. But the greens were excellent."

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