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Calcavecchia wins Boeing Classic in playoff

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SNOQUALMIE, Wash. – Mark Calcavecchia won the Boeing Classic on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, beating Russ Cochran with a two-putt birdie on the first hole of a playoff.

Calcavecchia and Cochran shot 7-under 65s to finish at 14 under at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

Calcavecchia, a 13-time PGA Tour winner making his 31st career start in two seasons on the 50-and-over tour, almost wrapped up the title on the par-5 18th in regulation, but his lengthy eagle putt came up a few inches short. Cochran, who nearly aced the par-3 17th, made a 12-foot eagle putt on 18 to force the playoff.

In the playoff, Calcavecchia found nearly the same spot on the 18th green as he did regulation, while Cochran pulled his second shot into a greenside bunker. Cochran’s bunker shot bounced past the pin into the rough and Calcavecchia two-putted for the title.

It was Calcavecchia’s first win since the PGA Tour’s 2007 PODS Championship. It was his third victory in the Pacific Northwest, following wins in the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and 2005 Canadian Open.

Earlier this year, Calcavecchia lost by two shots to Cochran in the Senior British Open and blew a big third-round lead at the Regions Tradition. Cochran left Calcavecchia behind in the Senior British after Calcavecchia four-putted on the ninth hole during the final round.

There were no such lapses this time for Calcavecchia.

The playoff capped a wild final three holes by both players where each seemed poised to take control.

The craziness started at the 16th when Cochran sat 10 feet below the hole with a birdie putt, only to watch Calcavecchia chip in from 15 yards shot of the green for birdie - Calcavecchia’s second chip-in birdie of the round. Cochran missed his putt and fell behind by a shot.

On No. 17, Calcavecchia’s tee shot to a difficult back-right pin guarded by water in front nestled on the fringe, while Cochran’s shot to the middle of the green caught a ridge and finally settled inches from the cup. While Cochran waited to tap in for birdie, Calcavecchia rolled in his putt from the fringe to stay a shot ahead.

Calcavecchia seemed in better position off the tee on the 18th, but Cochran’s second shot from more than 200 yards on the uphill, 498-yard par 5 rolled about 12 feet behind the pin. Calcavecchia was left with a 30-foot putt that curled just below the hole and Cochran forced the pair to play the 18th once more by making his eagle putt.

Chip Beck (68) birdied four of the final five holes to finish third at 9 under.

Jeff Sluman (71) was fourth at 8 under.

Hometown favorite Fred Couples put a charge into his large gallery by dropping in an eagle on No. 1 to get to 4 under, only to give back both shots on the second hole when he pushed his tee shot right and couldn’t find his ball. Couples had to go back and re-tee and ended up making double bogey on the hole, followed with another bogey on the fifth. He ended up with a 73 to tie for 16th at 1 under.