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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > Champions Tour > JELD-WEN Tradition > Round 4
 

JELD-WEN TRADITION RELATED STORIES





Eduardo Romero wins in playoff

Before his final round got under way, Eduardo Romero quizzed his caddie about how far under par he'd have to go to win.

"He said 5. I said we make 6-under just in case," Romero said. "But we made 7. That's OK."

Romero defeated Lonnie Nielsen with a birdie on the first playoff hole Sunday to win The Tradition, the final major of the season on the Champions Tour.

Romero made up five strokes on the final day to force the playoff.

"Today before the start, I said, `This is my tournament,"' he said.

Romero almost eagled the playoff hole, leaving his 19-foot putt just short on No. 18. He made a 2-foot putt for birdie.

Known as "El Gato," Romero raised his arms in victory after his winning putt and then patted Nielsen on the back.

"He's got it all and he's got no fear," Nielsen said of his playoff opponent. "He shoots at every pin. He doesn't care if there's water next to it."

Romero was in the clubhouse at 13 under, after closing with a 15-foot birdie putt, when Nielsen also birdied the par-5 18th to force the playoff.

Romero crept up the leaderboard with an eagle and three birdies on the front nine. His eagle on No. 4 bounced on the green from 71 yards out and rolled in the cup.

He finished with a 65, the low round of the tournament, for a 13-under 275 total. Nielsen had a final round of 70 on the par-72, 7,150-yard course at the Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club west of Portland.

Romero has played in just three other tour events this year, but was the runner-up after a playoff with Loren Roberts at the Senior British Open.

He became the second international player to win The Tradition. Australian Graham Marsh won it in 1999, when it was played in Arizona. With his victory, Romero becomes exempt for next season on the tour for players 50 and older.

Nielsen's body language showed his disappointment after his tee shot to open the playoff went into a bunker, and the second shot caromed right into bark chips off the fairway.

"I couldn't get anything on it," Nielsen said. "It would have taken everything I had just to get it 100 yards."

The shot of the sunny day was by Bruce Summerhays, who had his first career hole-in-one on the par-3 No. 11 by hitting a 5-iron from 185 yards.

Nielsen and Bobby Wadkins shared a one-stroke lead going into Sunday's final round. Wadkins had a 71 to finish a shot off the lead at 12 under. Four others finished at 9 under.

"I had three par-5s at the end, and if I birdie one, I'm in the playoff. Make two, and I win," Wadkins lamented.

Roberts, the defending champion, fell apart on the final day with a 76 to finish at 6 under. But he retained his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup points race, followed by Jay Haas. With his finish Sunday, Wadkins moved into the third spot with seven events to go.

It's the final Tradition at the Reserve after four years. The event moves to the central Oregon resort town of Sunriver next season, at the Crosswater Golf Club.

 

 




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