Bud Allin two-putted from 60 feet on the 18th hole Sunday to win the American Express Invitational in Sarasota, Fla., by one stroke over Jim Colbert, his first victory in three years on the Senior PGA Tour.
Allin, who got into the tournament only when Gibby Gilbert withdrew 5 minutes before the deadline to enter, shot a 3-under-par 69 at the TPC at Prestancia and finished the 54-hole event at 11-under 205.
“I told my wife Saturday night that I might not win this week, but after playing a pretty good round Saturday, I now know I can this year,” said Allin, who won $180,000.
“Then, when I got to the 14th hole, I knew my nerves were holding up pretty good, so I thought I might as well just win this week,” he said. “I just wanted to keep it going.”
The former U.S. Army artillery officer who earned the Bronze Star and Air Medal, returned from Vietnam to claim five career PGA Tour victories. But a 14-year break from golf before he joined the Senior Tour had left Allin, 52, looking for his old game and grit.
Jeff Sluman, whose only previous title came in the 1988 PGA Championship, ended his long drought when he held on for a one-stroke victory in the Tucson (Ariz.) Chrysler Classic.
Former Pullman resident Kirk Triplett finished five strokes back of the winner.
Nick Price of Zimbabwe parred the first playoff hole to defeat David Frost of South Africa and win the South African PGA tournament in Johannesburg.
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