The Mighty Thorpe


After five-career runner-up finishes on the Senior PGA Tour, Jim Thorpe is finally a champion. Thorpe fired a 7-under-par 65 to capture The Transamerica by three strokes over Bruce Fleisher, who also shot a Sunday 65.
The 51-year-old Thorpe had collected 14 top-10s in 32 starts this season, including three second-place finishes. Sunday, he entered the final round tied for the lead with Jesse Patino, who could only muster a final-round 71 to tie for fifth.
Thorpe got off to a good start on the Silverado Country Club in Napa, Calif. The three-time PGA Tour winner birdied the first hole, en route to a front-nine 32. Thorpe then added three more birdies over his first five holes on the back nine to move to 17-under-par for the tournament.
A bogey at the par-4 16th dropped him to 16-under, two shots clear of Fleisher. Fleisher closed the gap to a single shot by birdying the par-5 18th. He then sat in the clubhouse to see how Thorpe would finish.
Following a par at the 17th, Thorpe reached the 18th in two shots, and then converted a 15-foot eagle putt to secure a three-stroke win.
Thorpe earns $165,000 for his victory. He moves from 10th to seventh in 2000 earnings. Fleisher collects $96,800, and moves to within $174,949 of Larry Nelson's lead on the money list.