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Doyle’s win follows long putt

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DEARBORN, Mich. — Allen Doyle faced a lot of long putts at the Senior Players Championship. He made only one, but it was the right one.

Doyle, a former college hockey player who turned pro in 1995 after a successful amateur career, won the tournament Sunday on the first hole of a playoff with Doug Tewell. Doyle forced sudden death with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the final senior major of the year.

"I had rolled those good all week, but hadn't made anything," he said. "I figured, 'Why don't I make one now?' Those are the ones that you see on TV, but they never happen to you."

Doyle, who shot a 5-under 67 to match Tewell at 15-under 273, won his first major and sixth overall title on the senior tour. The playoff was just the second in tournament history.

Tewell, who shot a 66, saw his chance for victory slip away on the extra hole when his tee shot went wide left and landed in wetlands. Tewell bogeyed the playoff hole, while Doyle parred.

"I kind of felt like I shut the door on Allen, but he birdied," Tewell said of the final hole of regulation. "But I'm happy I'm getting my game back. I wasn't going to play next week, but I've committed to play in Chicago. This really ticks me off that I lost."

Hale Irwin shot 66 to finish third at 12 under.

Irwin and Tom Watson were the 36-hole leaders at 9 under, but Irwin's 75 Saturday after double bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 proved to be too much to overcome. Watson (73) finished at 8 under.

"If you had told me I would have three rounds of 65, 66 and 70 — I would've been thrilled," Irwin said. "I just wasn't expecting the 75 that killed me."

U.S. Open Champion Bruce Fleisher (68) and Ed Dougherty (73) tied for fourth at 10 under. Defending champion Ray Floyd (70) and Mike McCullough (69) were at 9 under.

Lee Trevino, playing in his final major, shot a 74 for a 2-over 290 total.

Doyle tied for fifth or better in five of his six previous tournaments. He lost a playoff to John Schroeder in the NFL Golf Classic in June.

"You can't fathom where I've come from," Doyle said. "It still blows my mind that this is my office, here at a golf course. You don't lose touch with that and don't forget that you're one of the luckiest guys in the world. Am I one up on everybody or what?"

His awkward swing is not a thing of beauty, which he blames on practicing in a room with a low ceiling growing up in Massachusetts.

While his peers were playing collegiate golf, Doyle was playing hockey at Norwich University, where he is a member of the school's Hall of Fame.

Doyle knows the only way he'll go the Golf Hall of Fame will be as a visitor — unlike many of his peers — but he relished winning a senior major against the best over-50 golfers in the world.

"It's huge," he said. "No one can take that from me. No one."

He also enjoys that the galleries following him will never rival those surrounding Irwin, Watson or Jack Nicklaus, who withdrew from the tournament after 27 holes because of a herniated disk and pulled right hamstring.

"I have my little niche here and I realize that," Doyle said. "People are always going to see me as an underdog. But I like playing in the shadows.'

GREATER MILWAUKEE OPEN: Shigeki Maruyama became the first Japanese player to win a PGA Tour event on the mainland, beating Charles Howell III in a playoff in the Greater Milwaukee Open.

Maruyama sank a 4 1/2-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole after Howell missed a 7-footer for par on the 18th at Brown Deer Park. The only other Japanese winner on the PGA Tour was Isao Aoki, who won the 1983 Hawaiian Open.

Howell closed with a 7-under 64 and Maruyama had a 66 to finish at 18-under 266 on a hot, humid and windless day. J.P. Hayes (63) and Tim Herron (67) tied for third, three strokes back.

MICHELOB LIGHT CLASSIC: Emilee Klein completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Michelob Light Classic, shooting a 3-under-par 69 for a five-stroke margin.

Klein birdied three of the first five holes and easily held off Annika Sorenstam and Jill McGill.

Klein, who opened with a then course-record 64 on Friday, finished with an 11-under 205 total on the Fox Run course. It was her first win since 1996, when she took the PING Welch's Championship and Women's British Open in consecutive weeks.

McGill closed with a course-record 63 to join Sorenstam at 6-under 210. Sorenstam, the tournament winner in 1995 and 1997-99 at Forest Hills Country Club, shot a 70.

SCOTISH OPEN: In Loch Lomond, Scotland, Retief Goosen made a few mistakes at the end, only this time it didn't matter as the U.S. Open champion cruised to a three-stroke victory in the Scottish Open.

A month after he botched the 72nd hole at Southern Hills only to come back and win the 18-hole playoff for his first major championship, the South African went wire-to-wire at Loch Lomond.

He bogeyed the final two holes for an even-par 71 and a 16-under 268 total. Denmark's Thomas Bjorn (67) was second, and John Daly shot a 70 to tie for third at 12 under.