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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2006 > Champions Tour > U.S. Senior Open Championship > Round 4
 

U.S. SENIOR OPEN RELATED STORIES





Allen Doyle defends title

Allen Doyle was trailing Tom Watson by two strokes entering the final round of the U.S. Senior Open. As it turned out, Doyle had Watson right where he wanted him.

Doyle fired his fourth round in the 60s at Prairie Dunes and overcame Watson to win the U.S. Senior Open for the second straight year on Sunday.

Last year, Doyle fired a closing round of 8-under-par 63 to defeat Loren Roberts and D.A. Weibring by one stroke. He wasn't that good Sunday but was steady enough to card a 2-under 68 and become the first repeat winner since Gary Player in 1987-88.

"It's unbelievable. And to win with Tom in the last group and everybody expecting him to have a banner day and to have Loren Roberts in the group, it's a huge thrill," Doyle said. "I was just hoping that I could get to, maybe if I could get to seven that if I could hold par, that that would be good enough to win."

He did one better and at 8-under 272, Doyle earned $470,000 and handed Watson his third runner-up finish in the event. A closing 2-over 72 left Watson, who also came in second in 2002 and 2003, at 6-under 274.

"I got off to a bad start today with two 3-putts on two and three and that put me in the defensive type of mood, it seemed like," Watson said. "And I just didn't get the offense working today. I felt like I was playing defense all day. And as a result, I shot the score I did."

A pair of former champions, Peter Jacobsen and Bruce Lietzke, finished at 5-under.

For a while, it looked like Weibring would be the one to post the big final round comeback. A 5-under 30 on the front side put him in contention, and he was at 7-under after consecutive birdies at Nos. 11 and 12.

But things came apart down the stretch as Weibring bogeyed 13 and 14, had a double-bogey on 16 and closed with a bogey to finish at 2-under.

"I obviously got off to a great start and I hit some really good shots early, made the putts," Weibring said. "Really had good momentum going. I didn't know what it was going to take today. But I was trying to kind of move forward and go as low as I could go."

Doyle birdied two of his first three holes but was at even-par at the turn. He birdied Nos. 12 and 14 and, after a bogey at the 16th, he rebounded with a birdie at 17.

With his 68, Doyle joined 1995 champ Tom Weiskopf and Player as the only golfers to shoot four rounds in the 60s. Weiskopf did it at Congressional and Player in 1987 at Brookline.

"This is a unique, wonderful golf course and that's where we need to play these championships at. So bring them on," Doyle said. "I mean, you know, I don't mind playing hard golf courses. And this was a very hard golf course."

A Kansas City native who was seeking his fifth career major win and second Senior Open title, Watson did not manage a birdie until the 14th, and by then, he had fallen out of contention with four bogeys. He managed to follow a bogey at 16 with a birdie at 17 to finish alone in second.

"It's very disappointing," Watson said. "Oh, I don't rank. I just set the scene. I'm playing in front of my home crowd at a great golf course, Prairie Dunes, in my home state, and most important championship in our tour here, and I didn't win."

 

 




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