Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach 2013
Kirk Triplett defends title
September 30, 2013
Kirk Triplett successfully defended his First Tee Open title Sunday at Pebble Beach, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Doug Garwood and Dan Forsman.
Three strokes behind leader Tom Lehman entering the round, Triplett finished at 11-under 205 for his second career Champions Tour title. Last year, the three-time PGA Tour winner overcame a four-shot deficit.
''Last year was a dream come true to win for the first time at Pebble Beach,'' said Triplett who had a bogey-free final round and seven consecutive birdies on par 5s in the last two rounds. ''To do it again, I am a bit overwhelmed. Last year, I was just so excited. This year, I am almost teary-eyed.''
Garwood, a Monday qualifier making his fourth career start on the 50-and-over tour, and Forsman each shot 69. Lehman was fourth at 8 under after a 74.
Triplett held two-shot advantage over Garwood, Forsman and Lehman with three holes left, but had to scramble. He hit his tee shot into the rough on the par-4 16th and saved his par after chipping to 2 feet.
Triplett hit his tee shot on the par-3 17th into a bunker, and saved par again to remain two shots ahead.
''I had a couple of unfortunate breaks,'' Forsman said. ''I bogeyed eight, which is likely because it's such a difficult hole and that took some of the wind out of my sails. But I had a couple of birdies on the back nine to stabilize things, and I am pleased with the way I played.''
After an opening round 67 at Del Monte, Triplett followed with a second-round 70 at Pebble Beach. He had only three bogeys in the tournament.
''I've played the 20 AT&T and 20 Callaway events and a couple of U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach,'' Triplett said. ''I knew it would be a dogfight. But I just have a great affinity for the place.''
Triplett earned $280,000 in the $1.8 million event.
Bernard Langer opened with a 63 at Del Monte, then shot consecutive 74s to finish eighth at 5 under.