Comfort Classic
Comfort Classic
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Morgan surges past McCullough to win

Gil Morgan used strong iron play to overcome his best friend and swirling winds today, posting a 3-under 69 to win the Comfort Classic by two strokes.

Morgan trailed Mike McCullough, his friend, by one stroke entering the final round and their Sundays had very different endings at the 6,796-yard Brickyard Crossing course.

Morgan, winner of six Senior PGA Tour events each of the last two years, won his first official event this year with a quick start as he birdied the first two holes to take the lead.

He saved the lead with a scrambling par on No. 12 and finished at 15-under 201, two strokes ahead of Ed Dougherty, who also closed with a 69.

Tom Jenkins finished another shot back after a final-round 71.

McCullough, who lost his lead to Morgan's fast start, stayed close until finishing with a double bogey and bogey. He shot a 74 and finished in a fourth-place tie at 205 with J.C. Snead, who had a 67, and Walter Hall, who had a 68.

"On days like today, it takes a lot of ball control to stay on top of the conditions," said Morgan, who has won two unofficial events this year. "I putted at a higher level this week. I didn't make any mistakes until today, and when I did, I was able to salvage it."

That included a scrambling par 5 on No. 12, where he recovered from a fat approach shot by making a 10-foot putt. McCullough, who birdied the hole, could have climbed within one shot had Morgan not made his putt.

"That could have been a big swap there. That probably turned it around," Morgan said.

Morgan didn't have a bogey until the par-4 15th, and by then no one was close enough to challenge.

"We have a great winner," said McCullough, who shot a course record-62 Saturday. "Gil could have played a little more solid, but nobody put pressure on him.

"When you get wind like this, your iron play becomes very exposed, as mine was today," said McCullough, winless in all 532 of his professional tournaments. He struggled with club selection on Nos. 7 and 17, hit his shots too softly, and wound up taking double bogeys.

Tom Watson, making his Senior PGA Tour debut, was one of five players who shared the first-round lead but faded after that. He shot a 3-over 75 today and finished nine shots behind Morgan.

"I'm disappointed and embarrassed at how I played today," said Watson, who turned 50 on Sept. 4, three days after getting married for the second time. "I did what I wanted to do as far as my life is concerned, but I don't know what else I would have done.

"I had a lot to do this week, and not a lot of time for my golf game. My swing isn't trustworthy right now. But no excuses. I didn't play well."

Watson wasn't alone. In contrast to the first two days, where sub-70 rounds were the norm, just nine players broke 70 Sunday, and no one finished better than Joe Inman, whose 67 helped him tie for seventh at 206.

 


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