McCullough Defends Again in Florida


For the second time this season, Mike McCullough will try and defend a title. McCullough is the reigning champion at this weeks Emerald Coast Classic in Milton, Fla.
Last years victory marked McCulloughs second of the season. He ended an 0-for-612 slump in PGA Tour-sanctioned events by capturing the Mexico Senior Classic a month prior. He played in 401 PGA Tour events without winning, 33 times on the Buy.Com Tour and 178 times on the Senior circuit.
McCullough didnt fare well in his first title defense; shooting 73-75-78 to finish tied for 54th in the newly named Audi Senior Classic. The tournament, however, was contested at a different venue than that of where he won.
This weeks event is once again being played at the par-70, 6,828-yard Moors Golf Club. Thats good news for McCullough, who defeated Andy North on the Scottish-style course in a playoff in 2001.
McCullough and North each started the final round three shots back of John Schroeder and Jim Ahern. They both shot 5-under 65s to finish regulation at 10-under-par 200.
On the first extra hole ' the par-4 18th ' North hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker and made bogey. McCullough two-putted from 20 feet for par, and the win.
'This was a different kind of win,' said McCullough, who had five birdies in a bogey-free round. 'When I won Mexico, the lead wasn't really mine until the last few holes. This time I was in a position to have the lead a good part of the day. If you don't have good blood pressure, it can rise.'
This weeks purse is $1.45 million, with $217,500 going to the winner.
Full field and tee times for the Emerald Coast Classic