Rachels Wins Brunos Memorial Classic in Playoff


Birmingham, AL - Sammy Rachels birdied the second playoff hole Sunday to defeat Dana Quigley and win the Bruno' Memorial Classic.
The players birdied the first playoff hole and returned to the 201-yard, par- three 17th hole. Quigley's tee ball landed 20 feet from the cup while Rachels left himself with nine feet.
Quigley missed his birdie putt but tapped in for par. Rachels ran home his birdie try and pumped his fist in the air as he earned his first victory of 2002 and his third overall on the Senior Tour.
'I felt fortunate to get into a playoff with Dana,' said Rachels, who participated in his first playoff on the elder circuit. 'It probably won't get any better than this.'
'It was almost a story-book finish,' said Quigley, who shot a 66 in the final round. 'It was quite a thrill for both Sammy and I to be in the playoff. I'm not leaving here a loser.'
Rachels on his win
Rachels posted a five-under 67 Sunday to match Quigley at 15-under-par 201.
Larry Nelson ,the overnight leader, finished alone in third at 14-under par, followed by defending champion Hale Irwin, who took fourth at 13-under-par 203.
Quigley got into the clubhouse first and he made his move to the top on the back nine. He ran home a five-foot birdie putt at No. 13 and made it two in a row with a 25-footer at the 14th. Quigley tied Rachels in first with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th.
Quigley may not have walked out with the trophy Sunday but he added his name to the Senior Tour's record books. This was his 178th consecutive start on the 50-and-over crowd, breaking Mike McCullough's former record.
'There's been lots of hoopla this week,' said Quigley. 'This all gives us hopes and dreams. Maybe next year will be my year here.'
Rachels made his climb to the top on the front nine. He birdied the first three holes and added another birdie when he holed a four-footer at six. Rachels tallied only one birdie on the back nine, at the 10th, but eight pars down the stretch were enough to get into the playoff.
'I thought he had all the momentum because I hadn't made a birdie in an hour and a half,' said Rachels, who collected $210,000 for the win. 'I really didn't have to deal with much adversity. I was thinking to myself to not mess up fairly regularly at the end.'
Jim Ahern posted a 66 and took fifth at 12-under par.
Bruce Lietzke and John Jacobs shared sixth at minus-11.
Full-field scores from the Brunos Memorial Classic