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Dawson Pulls off Victory in Senior Open Championship
American Marco Dawson fired a closing 6-under 64 on the Old Course at Sunningdale Golf Club in England to win the Senior Open Championship by a stroke over Bernhard Langer.
The 51-year-old Dawson, whose only title on the Champions Tour came in March at the Tucson Conquistadors Classic, carded two birdies, a pair of bogeys and an eagle on the par-4 ninth hole to make the turn in 2-under 33.
After another bogey on the par-4 10th, Dawson reeled off three birdies and another eagle on the par-5 14th to finish at 16-under 264, a stroke clear of defending champion Langer, who also shot a 64.
For the South African-born Dawson, who now lives in Florida, the win was redemption for all the work he has put in.
"This is unbelievable," he told reporters. "I can't tell you how many hours I put in on the range, and I've had two back surgeries to prove it. I've spent a lot of time on the range and on the putting green over the years, and you know, it's a little later than most of the guys, but it came true."
Dawson's final birdie came on the par-4 closing hole, which gave him the ultimate edge over Langer. "I had a lot of fun last year. I wasn't expecting a lot but things started to happen and I started getting more and more confident. And then I won earlier this year, which gave me a lot of confidence through the rest of the season, and when I got to this point two days ago, and I had a good first round and a good second, I thought, okay, maybe this is going to happen again.
"I said we'll just keep on making the swings and try and make the putts. That's what it comes down to. I just made one more putt than Bernhard."
Langer lauded Dawson's play. "It was an exciting week," said the two-time Masters' champion and 24-time Champions Tour winner. "It's very befitting of the venue and the tournament. We had a great leaderboard, lots of good players up there, and a few lead changes as the day went by.
"Marco just played phenomenally. Things went for him; he holed a bunker shot and he made two eagles, and leapfrogged both Monty and I. And he made an amazing putt on 18 to make sure I couldn't tie him. The three of us were always fairly close together and it just came down to who plays the last, eight or 10 holes the best, and Marco did that."
Bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes spelled Montgomerie's fate. The Scotsman was on a roll on the front nine after posting four birdies. But his dropped shots after the turn were too much to overcome and he settled for third at 267.
Ending up in third at 269 was Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, who closed with a 67, while Americans Fred Couples (69) and Woody Austin (66) shared fifth at 272.
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