Lowery wins AT&T Pro-Am after Singh stumbles in stretch

Monday, February 11, 2008
Steve Lowery tossed his putter after missing a birdie putt that would have given him the win Sunday during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calif. (MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ ~ Associated Press)

Having gone more than seven years and 199 tournaments without winning, Steve Lowery had every reason to feel out of his element Sunday.

He was on the 18th tee at Pebble Beach, one of the most famous spots in golf.

He was in a playoff against Vijay Singh, one of golf's toughest customers.

And he never felt more at ease.

Lowery took advantage of a stunning collapse by Singh, who made three straight bogeys on the back nine, then put him away on the first extra hole with a 7-foot birdie putt to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach, Calif.

"I couldn't have given it any more in 18 holes," said Lowery, who closed with a 4-under 68. "I just told my caddie, 'I've got nothing to lose.' Just go out and play aggressive. If anything, it kind of freed me up a little it. I just felt like I didn't have anything to lose."

The 47-year-old Lowery became the oldest champion in the 71-year history of this event, and under a variety of circumstances, one of the more surprising winners.

He was No. 305 in the world ranking when he arrived on the Monterey Peninsula. He suffered a freak wrist injury last year that kept him out for three months and gave him temporary status this season. Most surprising of all is that Lowery was three shots behind Singh when he walked off the 14th tee.

Singh made three straight bogeys; only a wedge into 2 feet on the 18th hole for birdie and a 71 allowed him one last chance in a playoff. That didn't last long, as Singh found two more bunkers on the 18th in overtime and did well to make par.

Both players finished at 10-under 278.

"I let this one slip away," Singh said. "I was in control, but those [bogeys] took a little air out of me. I still should have won the tournament. There's no excuse for that."

Lowery earned $1.08 million and a two-year exemption. He was on a minor medical extension because of the wrist injury and was given eight tournaments to earn $282,558 to keep his card the rest of the year.

Now he's going to the Masters.

It was his first victory since the 2000 Southern Farm Bureau Classic and third in his career, all won in playoffs.

"After seven years and winning on this course against Vijay and everything ... it's probably the most special," Lowery said.

Dudley Hart, who started the final round tied with Singh, didn't make a birdie until making three in a row at the end for a 72 to finish one shot out of the playoff. He tied for third with John Mallinger (65) and Corey Pavin (66).

Jason Day, the 20-year-old from Australia, finished alone in sixth after a 70.

Champions Tour

Scott Hoch won his second Champions Tour title, birdieing five of the final eight holes for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory over Brad Bryant and Bruce Lietzke in the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla.

Hoch, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour who also won the Champions Tour's 2007 FedEx Kinko's Classic, finished at 14-under 202 on The Old Course at Broken Sound.

Bryant shot a 66, and Lietzke had a 68. Second-round leader Jerry Pate had a 73 to drop into a tie for ninth at 10 under.

-- The Associated Press

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