Roberts Trumps a Pair of Freds


A trio of aging veterans waged an old-fashioned shootout at the Valero Texas Open and 47-year-old Loren Roberts turned out to be the last man standing.
Roberts fired a final-round 6-under 64 to finish the tournament 19-under-par, three strokes ahead of a pair of Freds - Fred Couples and Fred Funk - and Garrett Willis.
It was Roberts' first victory since the 2000 Greater Milwaukee Open and vaulted him into the top 30 on the money list, with an invite to the Tour Championship almost assured.
Shawn Micheel, Kenneth Staton, Pat Perez, J.L. Lewis and Joel Edwards were in a group that ended in a tie for fifth at 14-under.
Four golfers finished five off the pace at 13-under par - Bob Estes, Brian Gay, Bob Tway and Matt Peterson.
Roberts used a late barrage of birdies to pull away from Funk and Couples, who had drawn even with him at 17-under. He birdied the 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th, the last two by rolling in putts of 10 feet and 20 feet.
It was Roberts' fourth consecutive day in the 60s and his 261 total was just four shy of the tournament record in the 80-year-old history of the event.
Playing almost flawless golf, Roberts enjoyed his second round of bogey-free golf, and ended up making only three bogeys for the entire week.
'I hit the ball really good today,' said Roberts, who posted a 64 on Sunday. 'Today I didn't beat myself.'
The $630,000 winner's share was the biggest check of his career.
Couples had pulled to within a share of the lead late, but a costly bogey on the par-3 16th burst his bubble. Though playing in only his second events in 15 weeks, Couples recorded his first top-10 finish in two years.
'I'm thrilled to death,' said Couples. 'I played really well and it was a lot of fun.'
Funk had also gained a share of the lead on the back nine before a missed three-footer for par on the par-4 16th derailed him. It was his first and only bogey on the weekend.
'When I come away from this, I have to realize second place or tied for second wasn't all that bad,' said Funk, who has five top-five finishes in his last eight starts. 'I just didn't finish the way I needed to finish to win a golf tournament.'
Though winless on the year, Funk has now posted a remarkable fourth second-place finish in just over two months.
Willis, who's missed more cuts than he's made in 2002, had a pair of 66s on the weekend following his course-record tying 61 in Round 2. He needed only 93 putts for the tournament, just three more than the PGA Tour record of 93.

Final scores from the Velaro Texas Open