Reigning U.S. Open champion Corey Pavin held off two challengers in a hot, windy Texas shootout Sunday and won the golden anniversary Colonial by two strokes.
Pavin had a 1-under-par 69 for an 8-under total of 273. That was two strokes ahead of Jeff Sluman, who came from four shots back with a final-round 68 and briefly grabbed the lead late.Sluman, whose only victory was the 1988 PGA, was tied with Pavin until a bogey at No. 17 dropped him to six under.
Rocco Mediate, the 54-hole leader, started the day at eight under, a shot ahead of Pavin, and twice led by two strokes. But he dropped out of contention with a bogey at 17, posted a 73 and finished three back at 275.
Fred Couples closed with a 71 for a 276, a stroke ahead of Davis Love III, who finished fast with a 67.
"There were a lot of ups and downs today," Pavin said after securing his second Colonial title and his 14th on the PGA Tour.
The $270,000 top prize hiked Pavin's career earnings to nearly $7.5 million.
At age 38, he becomes the MasterCard Colonial's career money winner, passing 1994 champion Nick Price. Pavin has earned $675,943 in his 13 visits to "Hogan's Alley," named for five-time champion Ben Hogan.
Pavin, three-time member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, first took the lead at the par-4 9th, where he birdied and Mediate took a bogey.
His pivotal birdie came at No. 15, but he ended with a flourish with another birdie at 18.
Ben Crenshaw, twice a Colonial champion, recorded the lowest round of the day, a 66, and was tied with three others at 278.
At Clifton, N.J., Bob Murphy made sure a great first round kept him for another second-place finish.
Murphy shot a 3-under-par 69 Sunday for a two-stroke victory in the $950,000 Cadillac NFL Senior Golf Classic, a tournament he finished second in the last two years.
His 14-under 202 total was three strokes better than George Archer's record for 54 holes set last year at the Upper Montclair Country Club.
"I knew I gave the tournament away last year when I took a gamble and lost by a stroke," Murphy said. "This year I thought I could win it if I didn't make any dumb mistakes which isn't always easy for me."
Murphy, who never trailed after shooting a course record 62 in the opening round, went into the final round tied with Jay Sigel, the eventual runner-up after a 71. It was Sigel's best finish of the season.
Murphy played near flawless golf in the scorching 94-degree weather. His only bogey of the round came on the par-3 17th after he had built a comfortable three-stroke lead on the field.
"I felt good and very much under control," Murphy said. "I'm more patient, have more control over my emotions and more confidence than I ever had when I was younger and playing on the regular PGA Tour."
The 53-year-old Murphy, who won the PGA Thunderbird Classic on this course in 1968, became the ninth player to win both a PGA Tour and a senior PGA event on the same course.
Tommie Aaron had a 70 and was third at 206, while Dave Stockton, Larry Gilbert, Bobb Stroble and Masaru Amano all finished at 208.