Bellsouth Senior Classic
Bellsouth Senior Classic
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Fleisher wins fourth Senior Tour event of the season

Bruce Fleisher made a 12-foot birdie on the 17th hole today to beat Al Geiberger by one stroke in the BellSouth Senior Classic for his fourth victory of the season.

Fleisher continued his remarkable rookie year with a three-day total of 16-under-par 200. The $210,000 prize moved him past Allen Doyle into first place on the Senior PGA Tour money-winning list with $1,104,592.

"Could I imagine this? No, not really," Fleisher said after shooting a round of 6-under 66 Sunday for the victory. "You have goals and some of them come true. I'll have to re-evaluate mine. I've already passed most of them."

The 61-year-old Geiberger also shot a final-round 66, his third round in the 60s this weekend. It was his third second-place finish of the season.

"A victory is obviously what I need, but three seconds let me know I can do it," he said.

Bruce Summerhays, Tom Jenkins and Gil Morgan shared third place at 14-under. Jenkins had the best round of the day with a 64; Summerhays shot 65, and Morgan shot a 67.

Gary McCord also shot a 65 to finish tied with first-round leader Jim Albus (68) for sixth, three strokes behind Fleisher.

Although there were several players within striking distance, the tournament turned into a two-man duel between Fleisher and Geiberger on the back nine.

Fleisher eagled the par-5 10th to go to 15-under, giving him a two-shot lead. "That was a big turning point," he said.

Geiberger closed to within a stroke with a birdie at the par-5 12th.

Fleisher built his lead to two strokes with a birdie at No. 13. But he gave it right back with a bogey at No. 14 from 4 feet, just seconds after Geiberger, playing a hole ahead, rammed in a 40-foot birdie putt to get to 15-under.

Geiberger's putt sent up a big cheer from the crowd only about a five-iron from where Fleisher was lining up his par putt.

"That second putt I yipped a little bit," Fleisher said. "I was breathing pretty hard at that point."

Geiberger said he thought he'd hit a perfect lag putt on No. 15 until his caddie started yelling at the ball, "'Whoa! Slow down!' Then he pulled the flag and it went right in," Geiberger said.

The two-shot swing put Fleisher and Geiberger into a tie until Fleisher hit a sand wedge from 108 yards to 12 feet at No. 17 and rolled it in. He hit a perfect drive on No. 18, the toughest hole on the course, and nearly hit the flag stick with a five-iron approach.

Then, needing only par to win, he "sort of shook one down the hill" and tapped in for the victory.

Fleisher shot a 9-under 63 on Saturday, one stroke off the course record, to get into contention. He has now won every time he began a final round with at least a share of the lead.

He started the day tied with David Lundstrom, who faded to a tie for 11th with an even-par round of 72.

Kermit Zarley (66), Dana Quigley (67) and Jim Thorpe (70) tied for eighth at 11-under.

 

AP


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