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CASPER CLAIMS TRANSAMERICA TITLE

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Billy Casper has been around long enough to know that not making mistakes can sometimes be as important as making birdies.

Casper made a few birdies, but it was the absence of major problems in Sunday's final round that keyed his three-shot victory in the Transamerica Senior Golf Championship.Casper, one of four golfers tied for the lead at the start of Sunday's final round, shot a 4-under-par 68 to win the tournament over Al Geiberger.

"I was almost totally in control all day," said Casper, who earned won $60,000 from a $400,000 purse to increase his earnings to $182,399. "It was really a good, solid round."

Casper said he had told himself that by not making mistakes, "I should be around at the end."

Casper, who began the day tied for the lead with Geiberger, Dave Hill and Charles Coody, had four birdies without a bogey in completing 54 holes in 207, 9-under-par for the 6,632-yard Silverado Country Club course. He had only three bogeys in the tournament and three-putted just once.

Geiberger shot 71 and was alone at 210. His prize of $35,000 moved him into fourth on the money list with $446,991.

"I had my chances, I just didn't do anything," Geiberger said. "So, Billy said, `I'm going to do it,' and bam, bam, bam. This was the old Billy coming through here today.

"But when I look back on this tournament I'll probably, in the back of my mind, feel like I should've won."

Coody, who shot 72, and Larry Ziegler, who had a 70, were at 211 and Bob Charles was at 212 after a 72. Hill, never in contention on Sunday, shot 74 and was at 213.

Geiberger had a two-stroke lead after birdies on the first two holes. Casper got even with birdies on the third and sixth holes, then got the lead alone when Geiberger, making one those mistakes that Casper wanted to avoid, bogeyed the par-3 7th.

Casper, whose previous best finish this year was a tie for second in the GTE North Classic, moved to a three-stroke lead with birdies on 14 and 15.

"Sometimes that's the most dangerous way to start out," said Geiberger, who struggled after making birdie putts of 10 and 15 feet on the first two holes. "I just couldn't make the putts. I think I was trying so hard to make the putts to get out of that logjam."