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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > Champions Tour > Turtle Bay Championship > Round 3
 

TURTLE BAY CHAMPIONSHIP RELATED STORIES





Loren Roberts wins again in Hawaii

Loren Roberts is leaving Hawaii with two new trophies, a pocket full of money and a big smile.

Roberts had a remarkable two-week run in Hawaii by winning the first two events on the Champions Tour. He's the third player in tour history to win consecutive events to start a season, and the first since Larry Nelson in 2001.

The smooth-putting Roberts, nicknamed the Boss of the Moss, holed a 9-foot eagle putt on the final hole for an even-par 72 and a two-stroke victory over Scott Simpson on Sunday in the Turtle Bay Championship.

He finished the wire-to-wire win with a 12-under 204 total. Last week, Roberts had a record-setting, one-stroke victory in the season-opening MasterCard Championship on the Big Island.

"It was a struggle," he said. "I was just out of sync."

Roberts proved he didn't need a good round, or even a birdie to win.

Roberts, who had 14 birdies in the first two rounds and 40 in his first five Champions Tour rounds this year, failed to get a birdie Sunday, but held off Simpson with the timely eagle on the par-5 closing hole.

"Usually, you're always going to make at least one birdie," he said.

Both men, tied heading into the final hole, easily cleared the lake and were on the green in two shots on the par-5 18th. Roberts hit a perfect 4-iron shot from 200 yards out to set up his winning putt.

Roberts said he kept positive even though his four-stroke lead to begin the day had been chipped away to nothing.

"Instead of looking at squandering the lead, you have an opportunity to something great here. That's the way I try to look at it," he said.

After Simpson missed his long eagle attempt, Roberts made his slightly left-to-right putt, which is his favorite kind. He then showed some emotion for the first time in the tournament, shaking his fist and smiling.

"The last hole was the culmination of 17 holes of hard work," he said.

Japan's Isao Aoki shot a 70 to finish third at 9-under 207. It was his best finish since his second-place finish in the 2002 Royal Carribean Classic. Don Pooley (71), second last week in the MasterCard, and Tom Watson (68) tied for fourth at 8 under.

Loren Roberts chips onto the 12th green during the final round of the Turtle Bay Championship golf tournament in Kahuku, Hawaii, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006.
AP - Jan 29, 11:36 pm EST
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Roberts, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour who joined the 50-and-over tour last July and won The Tradition in August for his first major victory, took home $225,000 to push his two-week total to $515,000. He also tied for 18th in the PGA Tour's Sony Open.

Last week, Roberts had a 25-under 191 total on the Hualalai course to shatter the Champions Tour record for relation to par in a 54-hole event and tie the stroke mark. He also broke the tour record for birdies in a three-round tournament with 26.

Roberts is the third player in Champions Tour history to win consecutive events to start a season. In his first eight starts on the Champions Tour, Roberts has three victories, seven top-five finishes and earnings of $1,474,882.

Simpson, 50, the 1987 U.S. Open champion who lived in nearby Kailua for five years, opened with a bogey after three putting from long range, but he holed a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 17 to tie Roberts for the lead heading into the final hole.

Simpson said he was impressed with how Roberts stayed even keel and in the game.

"It can be discouraging to have a lead like that and you feel it slowly getting away," Simpson said. "That's hard to do, when you're struggling, to keep positive and keep making good shots.

"He had two great shots the last hole. There's nothing I can do about that."

Roberts said his next tournament will be either the Ace Group Classic or the PGA Tour's Nissan Open.

The tournament was the first since 1999 that Irwin was watching the leaders instead of being among them. Irwin, seeking his sixth straight and seventh overall Turtle Bay title, shot a 70 for a 4-over 220 total.

 




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