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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > Champions Tour > AT&T Classic > Round 3


Tom Kite coasts to five shot win

Tom Kite won his first Champions Tour title since 2004, closing with a 2-under 70 on Sunday for a five-stroke victory over Gil Morgan in the AT&T Classic.

The 56-year-old Kite finished with a 12-under 204 total and earned $240,000 for his eighth career victory on the 50-and-over tour. He matched the Valencia Country Club tournament record with an 8-under 64 on Saturday.

Kite began the round with a one-stroke lead and was four ahead after six holes.

The lead never went below five on the back nine and Kite cruised to the victory. It was the largest margin of victory in the event and the largest on the tour since Hale Irwin's five-stroke win last year in the Turtle Bay Championship.

"This was way to long of a drought," Kite said. "These last two wins, it's been kind of sparse. When I first came out here and won five or six events, I was thinking this Champions Tour thing was pretty easy."

Morgan shot a 68 to finish at 7 under.

Tom Jenkins (68) was 5 under, Morris Hatalsky (68) and Peter Jacobsen (71) were 4 under, and Wayne Levi (72) followed at 3 under. Andy Bean, tied for lead at 10 under after the second hole, finished with a 79 to drop into a tie with Loren Roberts (74), Jerry Pate (71) and Tom Purtzer (75) at 2 under.

After tying Kite with a birdie on the second hole, Bean made a double bogey two holes later, followed it with a bogey and was five strokes behind after nine holes.

Morgan tried to get close to Kite, but began the round seven strokes back and didn't like his chances.

"I was thinking more like top five or top 10," Morgan said. "I hadn't really shot a stellar round out here. I just couldn't get a handle on my game this week."

Kite made the possibility of anyone getting close pretty remote. He made a bogey on the 17th hole, but it was his only mistake of the round.

"This is definitely the best golf I've played in a long time," Kite said. "My golf swing is great, my putting stroke is great. It's fun to play well and I'm hoping to build on it. ... There is no question about it. To come out and win with this field on this golf course was pretty good."


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