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Waldorf edges Paulson in playoff

Duffy Waldorf has even more reason to love New York.

Waldorf professed his love for the Big Apple throughout this week's Buick Classic and colored his golf balls with New York related images and slogans. He can mark them with dollar signs after today's come-from-behind, sudden-death victory over Dennis Paulson.

The 36-year-old Californian, the runner-up here in 1992, birdied the first extra hole to earn his second career victory and the $450,000 first prize, the biggest pay day of his 14-year pro career.

Paulson, who fired a 4-under-par 67 today, and Waldorf finished 72 holes tied at 8-under 276, setting up the second straight Buick Classic playoff and the eighth in the last 14 years. J P. Hayes defeated Jim Furyk on the first extra hole to win last year's tournament.

Waldorf, who lost his only previous PGA Tour playoff to David Duval at the 1997 Michelob Championship, forced sudden death with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes. He rolled in a four-foot putt on No. 17 and, after blasting out of the greenside bunker on No. 18, knocked in a five-footer to cap an even-par round of 71.

Waldorf found the bunker to the left of the green on the playoff hole -- the par-5 18th -- and blasted out to the right fringe.

Meanwhile, Paulson was in deep trouble. His second shot landed in thick rough and a low-hanging tree and the huge bunker in front of him gave him no chance of landing his third shot on the green. After coming up short of the green, Paulson pitched past the pin and missed the comeback putt.

With Paulson laying five, Waldorf needed only to two-putt to claim his first victory since the 1995 La Cantera Open. But he rolled in an 18-footer for his third straight birdie on No. 18.

Second-round co-leader Chris Perry finished alone in third place at 7-under 277 after shooting 70. Scott Hoch shot a 2-under 69 to take fourth at 6-under.

Two-time champion Vijay Singh, Doug Barron, Loren Roberts, Gabriel Hjertstedt and third-round co-leader Jim Carter each finished at 5-under.

Bob Tway fired a 64 today, the low round of the tournament, and was one of eight players to finish at 4-under. That group also included David Duval, Fred Couples and 1994 Buick Classic champion Lee Janzen.

The par-71 layout at the hilly Westchester Country Club spans 6,722 yards.

 

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