Watson Wins Ends Dubious Streak

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2007 Outback Steakhouse Pro-AmLUTZ, Florida -- Tom Watson entered Sunday's final round of the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am two strokes behind co-leaders Wayne Levi and Andy Bean. Watson was also staring at an 0-for-93 career record in Florida.
 
That's right, Watson had never won a professional tournament in the Sunshine State. He was 0-for-77 on the PGA TOUR and 0-for-16 on the Champions Tour.
 
All it took was some British Open conditions. Watson posted a 1-under 70 in the final round to win by one stroke. Watson completed the event at 4-under-par 209.
 
'I think I was 0-for-89 in my career in Florida. Now, I'm 1-for-90. It's always been to hot for me down here,' joked Watson.
 
Weather conditions rivaled those of the British Open with temperatures in the upper 40s with winds gusting between 25 and 35 miles per hour.
 
No problem for Watson, a two-time Senior British Open and five-time British Open champion. Three back-nine birdies pushed Watson to the top of the leaderboard and he calmly parred his final five holes for the win.
 
After round two was completed early Sunday, the final round saw Levi and Bean atop the leaderboard to start. Bean bogeyed the first and Levi the second, as the duo dropped to minus-three.
 
Levi remained right there as he ran off 12 straight pars. Bean regained the lead at minus-4 with a birdie on the par-3 sixth. He held the lead until disaster struck at the par-5 14th.
 
Meanwhile, Watson fell down the leaderboard with bogeys on eight and nine. He bounced back in fine fashion however.
 
'It was a difficult day. I started off and I really played a lot of good, quality shots, but didn't make any putts at all,' Watson stated. 'I bogeyed eight and nine and said to myself 'this is not the way it's supposed to be. I was supposed to make a couple of those putts and not three-putt nine.' Then a little magic started to happen.'
 
Watson, playing one group ahead of Bean, drained a 9-foot birdie putt on 10 to get back to minus-2. He got up and down for birdie on the par-5 12th. Watson joined Bean at 4 under when he converted a 15-foot birdie effort on the 13th.
 
After Watson tied Bean for the lead, Bean struggled at the 14th. Bean's third shot came up short and right of the green. He shanked his fourth into the right rough, then pitched his fifth to 13 feet. Bean two-putted for double bogey giving Watson the lead.
 
Watson, who owns four major titles on the Champions Tour, showed his solid touch down the stretch. He pitched to 4 feet to save par on 15. After a two-putt par on 16, Watson chipped within 2 feet at the 17 and saved par from there.
 
The 57-year-old Watson had just over 35 feet for birdie at the last. His birdie putt slid by the right edge, but he tapped in for par and the win.
 
'It was a struggle out there today,' said Watson, who earned $240,000 for the win. 'I made great pitches on the last nine holes. I played a real good front nine and on the back nine I was leaking some oil coming in here. I did what I had to do to win and I'm very grateful for that.'
 
Bean, who could have comeback to force a playoff, parred three straight after his double-bogey. Bean birdied the last from 15 feet out to share second.
 
Bean closed with a 1-over 72 to join Jay Haas in second place at 3-under-par 210. Haas closed with a 2-under 69, which was one of just two rounds in the 60s in the final round.
 
Loren Roberts and R.W. Eaks shared fourth place and were the final players in red figures at minus-1. Levi struggled to a final-round 75 to end at even-par 213. Curtis Strange, Scott Hoch and David Eger tied for seventh at 1-over-par 214.
 
Scott Simpson and comedian Bill Murray, who were longtime partners at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, teamed to win the Pro-Am this week at 21-under par.
 
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