Bank One Championship
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Watson shoots record 62 to win

Following the second round of the Bank One Championship, Tom Watson warned it would take a low score in the final round to win the tournament.

It wound up being him.

Watson added to his long list of accomplishments today, when he shot a course-record, 10-under-par 62 at Bent Tree Country Club to win by five strokes in just his second Senior PGA Tour event.

"I had a goal of getting a birdie on every other hole and I got one extra," said Watson, who won 34 times on the PGA Tour and has eight major championship titles. "It was kind of unexpected. Even though I was tied for the lead, I knew I had to shoot a low round and I hadn't shot a low round in a long time. It's good to win."

The 62 broke Watson's PGA Tour career low of 63, which he had accomplished three times. Watson once shot 62 in an unofficial event. His 20-under 196 total was a season-low on the Senior Tour and he became the tour's 10th first-time winner this year, breaking the record set in 1989.

Bruce Summerhays started a shot behind the leaders and had a 66 to finish second. Summerhays had seven birdies in a span of nine holes and was within three strokes of the lead after a birdie on par-5 16th, but Watson, playing in the next group, answered with a two-putt birdie on the same hole.

Watson, who was tied for the lead with five others at 10-under after two rounds, birdied Nos. 2 and 3 and then took charge of the tournament with a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5, 530-yard sixth hole.

Watson added birdies on 7 and 9 for a 6-under 30 on the front nine. He hit the flagstick on 11 for a one-foot birdie and nearly holed out on 12 for another birdie. He came up just short on the par-5 13th, then chipped within 3 feet and made the putt to go 9-under for the round and take a five-shot lead.

Watson's approach on the final green landed 40 feet right of the hole and his first putt rolled 3 feet past. After he calmly made the par putt, Watson took off his hat, raised his arms in triumph and flashed his famous gap-toothed grin.

"That's one of the best rounds of golf I've ever seen," said Jim Colbert, who was paired with Watson and shot a 69 to tie for fourth. "His distance control was incredible. I thought he was going to hole one from the fairway. I thought he was going to break 60."

Watson's first senior win came against the tour's best as the top 11 players on the money list were in the field.

Watson started the final round tied with money leader and five-time winner Hale Irwin, who set the course record with a 63 Saturday, and last week's winner Gil Morgan, who is fifth on the money list. Four-time winner Allen Doyle -- third on the money list -- started two shots back.

Irwin shot a 71 to finish tied for eighth, while Morgan was third after a 68 and Doyle shot a 70 to finish tied for 13th.

Watson, who joined the PGA Tour in 1971, won five British Opens, two Masters and a U.S. Open. He was one of just five players to win the British and U.S. Opens in the same year when he did it 1982. He is also a five-time winner of the Byron Nelson Classic, also held in the Dallas area.

Watson turned 50 on Sept. 4 and finished tied for 22nd in his first event as a senior last week in Indianapolis.

"I was a little anxious last week with that type of pressure," Watson said of the expectations placed on him. "I hadn't played very much golf and really wasn't prepared for tournament golf. But when I played in a practice round on Tuesday, I felt I could shoot a low score."

The tournament also marked the end of Don January's 43-year career. The 69-year-old January, who won 10 PGA Tour events, including the 1967 PGA Championship, and 22 Senior Tour events, said after today's final round he would not play competitively again.

 


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