American Express Invitational
American Express Invitational
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Fleisher makes it two in a row

SARASOTA, Fla. Bruce Fleisher made it 2-for-2 on the Senior PGA Tour.

Fleisher shot a final round 3-under-par 69 today and won the American Express Invitational by three strokes over Larry Nelson. With the victory, Fleisher became the first player in the history of the Senior PGA Tour to win his first two events.

Last week, Fleisher won in Key Biscayne, Fla., in his Senior Tour debut, joining Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and George Archer as first-time winners on the 50-and-over circuit.

Fleisher toured the Tournament Players Club at Prestancia with a four-birdie, one-bogey round that easily protected the three-stroke lead he carried into the final round. He finished the 54-hole event with a 13-under total of 203, three better than Nelson, who closed with 67.

Walter Hall, with a 66 today, finished at 9-under for third, while Tom Wargo, who had a 72, was fourth at 7-under.

Fleisher earned $180,000 -- the largest check of his pro career -- and increased his senior winnings to $330,000. In more than 400 PGA Tour starts over 29 years, Fleisher won only once and earned $1,695,111.

"I had no expectations of this. Honest to God,'' Fleisher said. "Yes, I tried to prepare for this. But very few guys -- I'm thinking Hale Irwin or Jack Nicklaus -- really believe how good they are and can look in the mirror and know they can win. I was a journeyman and made a living. This is really special.''

Fleisher birdied the 416-yard, par-4 third hole after hitting a 7-iron to five feet and never looked back.

"That sort of got me kick started,'' he said. "I had a cushion of three or four shots most of the day. Actually, I felt pretty good.''

By the time Fleisher finally had his only bogey of the day, he was on the 17th hole with a four-shot lead.

"That was pretty remarkable,'' Nelson said. "I felt if I could get off to a good start and put some pressure on him, something might happen. I played good today but he kind of matched me birdie for birdie.''