Purtzer Rides Opening Round 60 to Victory

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04 Toshiba Senior ClassicNEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Tom Purtzer posted a 4-under 67 on Sunday to hang on and win the Toshiba Senior Classic. He finished at 15-under-par 198 and defeated fellow overnight leader Morris Hatalsky by a single stroke.
 
'I feel like I'm going to do better each week now,' said Purtzer, who earned $240,000 for the win, his second on the Champions Tour after last year's victory at the SBC Classic. 'I'm not as surprised now when I have success.'
 
John Jacobs shot a 3-under 68 on Sunday and finished alone in third place at 13-under-par 200. Keith Fergus, who recently joined the Champions Tour, carded a 2-under 69 and came in fourth at minus-12.
 
Purtzer, who nearly became the first member of the elder circuit to fire 59 on Friday, but settled for a 60, drained a 10-footer for birdie at the second hole, but Hatalsky matched him with a 25-foot birdie putt of his own.
 
The duo traded birdies at the fifth, but Purtzer fell behind when he hit his 4-iron tee shot into a bunker at the eighth. Purtzer blasted out to 10 feet, but could not convert the par putt.
 
Purtzer collected two quick birdies on his second nine while Hatalsky struggled. Hatalsky ran home a 20-footer for birdie at the 13th to draw even with Purtzer at 15-under par.
 
Hatalsky bogeyed the 14th to fall one behind and both players birdied the par-5 15th. Hatalsky hit his approach right at the 16th and could not save par. Purtzer knocked an 8-iron to 25 feet and holed the birdie putt to go ahead by three.
 
Purtzer gave Hatalsky some light at the 17th. Purtzer three-putted from 43 feet for a bogey and it all came down to the par-5 18th at Newport Beach Country Club.
 
Hatalsky drove right off the 18th tee and no other choice but to lay up short of the putting surface. Hatalsky needed to hole his third to have any chance, but did not. He birdied the final hole to get within one, but Purtzer tapped in for par to visit the winner's circle.
 
'The putt on 16 was the biggest,' said Purtzer. 'When that putt went in and Morris missed, that gave me a cushion. It helped playing with Morris. He was pulling for me and I was pulling for him.'
 
Hatalsky, who has won the last two seasons on the over-50 circuit, just did not make the shots down the stretch. He shot a final-round, 3-under 68 for his best finish in 2004.
 
'I feel really good about the tournament overall,' said Hatalsky. 'Tom did some things down the stretch. I wasn't swinging at it the way I needed to and it cost me the tournament.'
 
Bruce Fleisher shot a 67 on Sunday and took fifth place at 11-under-par 202.
 
Lonnie Nielsen (67), David Eger (68) and D.A. Weibring (69) shared sixth place at 10-under-par 203. Dana Quigley (67), John Bland (65) and Leonard Thompson (67) tied for ninth at minus-9.
 
Jack Nicklaus posted a 2-under 69 on Sunday and finished in a tie for 36th place at minus-3.
 
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