Although it took David Graham 10 extra holes to do it, he made history Sunday by beating Dave Stockton in a not-so-sudden death playoff at the Royal Caribbean Classic.
Graham won the longest playoff in PGA Senior Tour history after hitting his approach on the final hole - the par-4 18th - within a foot of the cup, then getting an easy birdie. The longest previous playoff lasted nine holes before Bob Murphy beat Jay Sigel last year at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach Calif.The victory in the first full-field event of the senior season was Graham's fourth on the Tour. He collected $127,500.
Both Graham and Stockton finished at 11-under 202 for the tournament, played at the par-71 Crandon Park Golf Club. Graham closed with a 67, and Stockton ended regulation play with a final-round 71.
Graham closed regulation play with three consecutive birdies to catch Stockton and force the playoff. Stockton had led the tournament from Friday's opening round until the 17th hole Sunday.
Graham's victory came after his 134-yard approach nestled up toward the hole. It was the fifth time he and Stockton played the hole Sunday.
Stockton, who chipped in for birdie earlier at the 18th during sudden death, faced another chip shot after leaving his approach short. This time, though, he came up about five feet short, sealing the win for Graham.
Lee Trevino shot a 72 to finish third at 204.
Trevino, paired with Stockton in the final group, was gunning for his first Senior victory in 14 months.
The Tour's career leader in money and victories, Trevino missed a five-foot par putt that would have tied him for the lead at the 16th.
Murphy, the 1996 tournament champion, closed with a 69 to finished at 205.
Gil Morgan, bidding for his fourth straight win on the Senior Tour, finished at 209 after closing with a 69.
Graham and Stockton began their playoff by parring the 18th hole.
Graham missed a chance at victory on the second playoff hole, the par-4 16th, when his four-foot birdie putt slid by the cup. But he rebounded by knocking in a putt from about the same distance on No. 17 to save par and extend the playoff.
Graham again appeared to have won the tournament on the fourth playoff hole - the 18th - when he landed his approach to within two feet of the cup. Meanwhile, Stockton opened the door by pushing his approach to the right of the green and into the rough. But he chipped in from about 24 feet for birdie.
He didn't win, though, because Graham sank short birdie putt.
Stockton's short game rescued him all day, it was never more apparent than on the 18th hole of regulation. Needing a par to force a playoff, Stockton's approach shot landed in the back bunker, but he saved par by blasting to within a foot of the cup.
Rain delays AT&T Pebble Beach
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Tom Watson was poised to make golf history. Tim Herron was shooting for the biggest paycheck of his career. Torrential rain washed both out Sunday at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Sheet-like rain driven by heavy winds wiped out play after three holes of the third round Sunday, forcing organizers to extend the tournament to Monday - and perhaps even Tuesday. The tournament has been reduced to 54 holes.
Play was scheduled to resume Monday, but the weather forecast was ominous. Heavy rain was expected, with 20-30 mph winds and stronger gusts.
Watson, trying to win the title a record 20 years after his previous victory at the Pebble Beach tournament, looked to the dark skies and invoked the spirit of tournament founder Bing Crosby.
"C'mon Bing, wherever you are. Stop the rain," Watson said.
The AT&T tournament was washed out after two rounds in 1996, making it the first PGA Tour event that could not be completed since 1949.
It is the first PGA Tour event extended to Monday since the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, last June. If it goes beyond that, it would be the first tourney extended to Tuesday since the 1980 Tucson Open.
Tournament executive director Lou Russo said there's even the possibility of playing half a round Monday and half a round Tuesday.
"It's the main concern of the PGA Tour to get the official 54 holes in," Russo said. "We're going to give it every chance. It's just a normal winter storm, and it's a big one."
Even if the pros are able to play Monday or Tuesday, they won't be joined by amateur partners. The amateur portion of the tournament was canceled Sunday because of the weather.
Watson and Herron began play Sunday as co-leaders at 10-under 134. Watson bogeyed his second hole on the Poppy Hills course, while Herron grabbed the lead with a birdie on his second hole at the Spyglass Hill course.