'We wanted to win to make sure we'd be back next year,' said Larry Nelson, who pocketed $200,000 for the victory. 'It's nice to win this first one. We played well together. It was a great week.'
The Nelson's two-day total of 25-under-par 119 matched the tournament record. Raymond and Ray Floyd, Jr. set the mark in 1995 and was later equaled by the Charles' in 1998 and Jack and Gary Nicklaus and Raymond and Robert Floyd in 1999.
Curtis and Thomas Strange fired the first 59 at ChampionsGate Resort. They tied for third place with Jerry and Wesley Pate (64), Tom and David Kite (62), Raymond and Ray Floyd, Jr. (62) and Bill and Ben Rogers (61). The group was knotted at 19-under-par 125.
The Nelson started with three consecutive birdies, but it was not enough to keep their lead. The Charles family birdied nine holes in a row from the second.
'We had a two-shot lead at one point,' said Bob Charles. 'We had some momentum with nine birdies in a row.'
The Nelsons answered. They tallied birdies at five and eight, then went on a birdie tear of their own. Larry Nelson sank a 20-foot birdie putt at the 11th, then rattled three more in a row, culminated in a 6-footer by Drew Nelson. That birdie at 14 gave them a lead they would not relinquish.
The Nelsons tallied two more birdies at 15 and 16 for six in a row. Drew Nelson hit a pitching wedge to 10 feet to set up birdie at 17. Drew Nelson closed with a 15-foot birdie putt on the last to polish off eight birdies in a row, a back-nine 27 and a tournament-record-tying total.
'For a retired golfer, this was a pretty good week for me,' said Drew Nelson, who played some mini-tour events in North Carolina this year. 'There wasn't desperation, but the way the Charles' made eight or nine birdies in a row, it got our attention.
The Charles' finished with a 12-under-par 60 on Sunday.
Dave and Ronnie Stockton shot a 61 in the final round and took eighth place at 18-under-par 126. Vijay and Qass Singh (62) and Bernhard and Stefan Langer (65) shared ninth place at minus-16.
Lee and Rick Trevino posted a 9-under 63 on Sunday and took 11th at 15-under-par 129.
The defending champions, Hale and Steve Irwin, carded a final-round 65 and tied for 12th with the only two non father/son teams. Arnold Palmer and his grandson Sam Saunders (65) and Lee Janzen and Aaron Stewart (66), son of the late Payne Stewart, joined the Irwin family at 14-under-par 130.
Lanny and Travis Wadkins (65) came in 15th at 12-under-par 132, followed by Craig Stadler, who was named 2004 Champions Tour Player of the Year on Sunday, and his son Chris. The Stadlers finished at minus-10.