Ray Floyd slammed the door on any would-be challengers with a string of 14 consecutive pars in the PGA Seniors Championship, claiming the title he blew a year ago.
"Last year has nothing to do with it," Floyd said Sunday after he turned a two-stroke lead into a five-shot victory and showed why he is one of golf's great front-runners.That reputation was damaged a year ago when, in the same tournament and on the same Champion course at the PGA Resort, he uncharacteristically blew a four-shot lead with eight holes to go and let Lee Trevino escape with the title.
Most of his self-inflicted damage came on the 15th and 17th holes, both water-guarded par-3's, which he played in "7" and "5."
This time he parred them routinely and cruised to his 10th victory on the over-50 circuit.
It marked his fifth triumph in the six times he has led or shared the lead going into the final round of a senior tournament.
The only loss was in this one a year ago.
And the only hope anyone had, Trevino said, was that he would do it again.
"He had a good memory. I thought maybe he would have forgotten what happened to him last year," Trevino said.
But it didn't happen.
"He started off great and then just sort of coasted in," Trevino said.
"I put that behind me a year ago," Floyd said. "If I had to dwell on bad shots, bad holes, bad tournaments, I don't think I'd be here. I don't play in the past. I play in the present."
This time there were no glitches. He did not make a bogey. From the front, he birdied the third (from about 15 feet) and the fourth (from 8) and really wasn't threatened.
"Basically, no one mounted a challenge," he said after finishing with a solid 70 and a 277 total, 11 under par.
It was his first victory of the year after three second-place finishes.
Trevino, on the mend from a neck surgery and not yet a winner this year, birdied the last hole for a 71 and a tie for second at 282.
He shared the position with former club pro Larry Gilbert and Houston stock broker John Paul Cain, each of whom shot 69.
None really got in the title chase.
Australian Graham Marsh, lefty Bob Charles of New Zealand and Isao Aoki of Japan shared fifth at 283. Marsh and Aoki each shot 71, Charles 70.
Former club pro Jim Albus twice got within three shots of the lead on the front, but could not sustain the drive. He played the back in 40, shot 75 for the day and finished nine behind.
And the man Floyd most feared, Jack Nicklaus, also was unable to keep it going.
The 55-year-old Nicklaus, playing a fifth consecutive tournament for the first time in 25 years, also moved within three shots of the lead with birdies on the third and fourth.
But he, too, was unable to keep it going. His game began to deteriorate on the back and he took himself out of it with three consecutive bogeys. Nicklaus finished with 74 and a 284 total.
Floyd's victory was worth $180,000 from the total purse of $1 million and lifted his Senior Tour earnings to a leading $452,900 for the year.
Floyd, 52, also has 22 victories on the regular tour, including the 1969 and 1982 PGA titles, the 1976 Masters and the 1986 U.S. Open.
"I don't have the same feeling for this as the majors on the regular tour," he said, "but I'm a senior now so I want to win our four majors more than anything else."