Tom Watson has 34 PGA Tour victories, has won eight major championships and is in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Yesterday, he made his first mark on the Senior PGA Tour, shooting a course-record 10-under 62 in the final round of the Bank One Championship in Dallas to win by five strokes in his second event as a senior.
The 62 broke Watson's career low of 63, which he had accomplished three times. 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. He earned $195,000.
Bruce Summerhays started a shot behind the leaders and had a 66 to finish second. Summerhays had seven birdies in nine holes and was within three strokes of the lead after a birdie on the 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 an eagle on the par-5, 530-yard sixth hole.
Watson added birdies on the seventh and ninth holes for a 6-under 30 on the front nine. He nearly holed approach shots on 11 and 12 for two more birdies. He came up just short on the par-5 13th, then chipped within three 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 three 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.
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 shot a course-record 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.
Don January ended his 43-year career with a 6-over 78. He finished with 32 victories between the regular and senior tours, including the 1967 PGA Championship. . . .
Fred Funk and Brad Faxon were tied after 72 holes at the B.C. Open last night and a one-hole playoff didn't decide a winner so they will continue this morning.
Faxon, Funk and Rory Sabbatini started the final hole of regulation in Endicott, N.Y., in a three-way tie, but both Funk and Faxon birdied the hole to knock the young South African out of the lead as the sun was setting.
Both Faxon, who shot a fourth-round 67, and Funk, who had a 72, parred No. 18. They finished regulation at 15-under 273. . . .
Second-year pro Maria Hjorth shot an 8-under 64, including a tournament record-tying 30 on the front nine, and won the $650,000 Safeco Classic in Kent, Wash., for her first career LPGA victory. Hjorth, a Swede whose best previous finish was a tie for fifth, didn't have a bogey over the final 26 holes and beat Scotland's Catriona Matthew by two strokes to earn $97,500. . . .
Sweden's Pierre Fulke birdied the final hole for his first career win on the European tour at the $1.29 million Lancome Trophy in Saint-nom La-Breteche, France.
Keller Leads Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano, led by U.S. national team goalkeeper Kasey Keller, went to the top of the Spanish League with a 1-0 victory at Celta Vigo. Striker Bolo Perez's 65th minute header gave Vallecano its fourth win in a row, the best start in the club's 75-year history. Keller has given up only two goals. . . .
Alan Shearer scored five goals to help Newcastle rout last-place Sheffield Wednesday, 8-0, in the English League. . . . Christian Vieri scored one goal and assisted on three as Inter Milan routed Parma, 5-1, to move to the top in Italy.
Nemechek Wins First
After winning the Dura Lube 300 for his first NASCAR victory in 180 starts, Joe Nemechek knew exactly what to do. He dedicated the win to his brother, who was killed in a race two years ago.
"This is for my brother, John, I love you," he said shortly after crossing the finish line at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.
Nemechek pulled off a big upset, getting a big break when Winston Cup points leader Dale Jarrett was penalized for a pit road violation. Tony Stewart was second in a race that ended under caution.
Stewart, fighting an ailing engine, was happy for Nemechek, who is leaving Sabco Racing after the season and is without a ride for next year.
"If I had to lose to a guy, I lost to one of the best guys in the sport," he said. "Joe Nemechek deserved it."
Nemechek passed Terry Labonte on the 230th of 300 laps on the 1.058-mile oval, then held off a bid by Stewart. But Jarrett's mistake, when he stopped with his right side outside his box on pit road, was the key to the victory.
Malakhov Out 4 Months
Montreal's Vladimir Malakhov will miss four months after tearing a ligament in his right knee Friday against Edmonton. Malakhov, who led Canadiens defensemen in scoring last season with 34 points in 62 games, is to have surgery Tuesday. . . . Thrashers left wing Vladimir Vujtek was released from an Atlanta hospital after undergoing 2 1/2 hours of plastic surgery and receiving more than 100 stitches to his right cheek after being injured Saturday against the Rangers. Vujtek received a four-inch long, deep laceration when he was accidentally cut by the skate of New York's Valeri Kamensky. Vujtek, 27, is expected to miss about two weeks. . . .
The New York Islanders signed restricted free agent center Mats Lindgren to a two-year contract worth $1.475 million.