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GOLF ROUNDUP

Morgan Avoids the Water and Wins

February 12, 2001|From Associated Press

Gil Morgan won the ACE Group Classic for his 19th Senior PGA Tour title, closing with a six-under-par 66 Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Dana Quigley at Naples, Fla.

Morgan, also the 1998 winner, had a 12-under 204 total on the Pelican Marsh course. He earned $210,000.

Quigley finished with a 67. Australia's Stewart Ginn (66) was third at 209, and Tom Kite (68) followed at 210.

Morgan's approach shot on No. 18 almost went into the water, but landed a few feet away from it, then rolled within 10 feet of the cup.

"Fortunately, it carried enough to survive," he said of the 200-yard four-iron shot. "I was trying to aim it out there about 20 feet left of the hole. I was probably a little keyed up so it might've gone a little bit farther than normal."

Morgan easily two-putted to clinch the victory.

"Dana played awfully well. He just kept pushing me and pushing me," said Morgan, who passed $8 million in senior earnings.

"I pressed him a little harder than he wanted [me] to," said Quigley, who has nine second-place finishes on tour to go with four victories. "I feel more disappointed with this second than any of the other five last year."

With firmer greens and higher rough due to the players' request for 2001, the 6,995-yard course played more than a stroke harder than in 2000, 72.906 to 71.641.

Morgan, 54, won six times on the PGA Tour.

"I think the major difference is that I'm putting at a higher level than I did on the regular tour," he said. "I just kept working on mechanics. I think I work on my putting more than I do anything else."

*

Aaron Baddeley took advantage of Sergio Garcia's two-stroke penalty to win the Greg Norman Holden International at Sydney, Australia, on the first hole of a playoff.

Baddeley, the 19-year-old Australian who won the Australian Open as an amateur in 1999 and pro in 2000, made a 20-foot birdie putt on the playoff hole after Garcia missed a 40-foot putt.

"It was nerve-racking stuff coming down the stretch. To hole that putt at the end was just awesome," Baddeley said. "I don't think I can play a lot better than I did today.

"Sergio played great. We played in a great spirit. He's a true sportsman."

The friendly young rivals closed with five-under-par 68s to finish at 21-under 271, a stroke ahead of England's Ian Poulter and two in front of Norman.

Garcia, winless since the 1999 German Masters, lost an apparent two-stroke lead following play Saturday when he was penalized for taking an incorrect drop on the first hole of the third round.

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