Sluman rallies for third Pebble Beach title

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, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. - Jeff Sluman closed with a two-under 70 on Sunday to win the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach for the third time.

Sluman finished at 10-under-par 206. It was his third win in the last four years at this tournament and his fourth Champions Tour win in all.

"It feels great obviously," Sluman said in a television interview. "I've been playing well all year and winning this year was important to me for a number of reasons. To win again at Pebble Beach is very, very special."

He rallied past second-round leader Jay Haas, who birdied the par-five 18th to close out a three-over 75. Haas slipped into a share of second place at minus- eight with Brad Bryant (73) and David Eger (72).

Tom Pernice, Jr. shared the second-best round of the day with his three-under 69. He climbed 13 spots into a tie for fourth at seven-under-par 209. He was joined there by Bobby Clampett (74), Mark Brooks (74), Mark Wiebe (70) and Steve Lowery (73).

The final round was played at Pebble Beach after the tour players were paired with amateurs from the First Tee program for the first two rounds and split one round apiece at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course.

Haas was in control of the tournament early on as he birdied the first two holes to climb to 13-under. He was two strokes clear of the field at that point, but his birdie at the 18th was the next one he made.

In between, Haas struggled to four bogeys and a double-bogey to tumble down the leaderboard.

Sluman birdied the second, but gave that stroke back with a bogey on No. 5. Sluman got to 10-under with birdies on the sixth and eighth.

Around the turn, he faltered to another bogey on the par-four 10th. Sluman trailed by two at that point, but would soon take over the lead.

Sluman birdied the 13th and made it two in a row with a birdie on the par-five 14th. That moved Sluman to the top of the leaderboard.

The 53-year-old Sluman tripped to a bogey on the 15th to slide into a share of the lead with Haas and Clampett.

Moments later, Haas and Clampett both made a mess of the par-five 14th. Both players walked off with double-bogeys, which dropped them two shots back.

Armed with a two-stroke lead, Sluman two-putted for par on 16 before getting up and down for par on the par-three 17th. He took three shots to reach the par-five 18th and two-putted for par from about 20 feet out.

Sluman walked off with a two-shot lead and watched the final three groups finish. Eger parred the last five holes to share second. Bryant mounted a rally with birdies on 16 and 17, but he needed to hole out for eagle at the last to force a playoff.

He was unable to do that and it was down to Haas. The 14-time winner missed a short par putt on the 17th to slide three back. When his second shot at the closing hole came up well short, Sluman officially was the winner.

"I went to the long putter earlier in the year, and let me just say desperate men do desperate things," Sluman joked on television. "Actually, I putted pretty well with that [long] putter. I probably couldn't have won this tournament had I putted regularly."

NOTES: Sluman earned $240,000 for the win...Ted Schulz, the 2010 champion, closed with a three-over 75 to slide into a share of 27th at one-under-par 215...Three of the next four Champions Tour events are majors championships. First up is the Senior British Open, where Bernhard Langer held off Corey Pavin by a single stroke last year.


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