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Morgan holds off Irwin for Champions win at Pebble Beach

9/2/2007 - Golf

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Gil Morgan won his 25th career
Champions Tour title Sunday, closing with a 5-under 67 for a
two-stroke victory over Hale Irwin in the Wal-Mart First Tee Open.

The 60-year-old Morgan won at Pebble Beach 15 years after a
disappointing finish in the U.S. Open on the historic course. In
1992, Morgan was 12 under after seven holes of the third round, the
lowest anyone had been in a U.S. Open, but played the next seven
holes in 9 over and ended up tying for 13th.

"Pebble Beach is finally going to let me survive,'' Morgan
said. "I kept thinking, 'It's going to give me a reprieve.' "

Morgan finished with a 14-under 202 total, birdieing four of the
first six holes Sunday and adding another on No. 16. He opened with
a 70 at Pebble Beach and shot a 65 on Saturday at Del Monte.

"I was able salvage some par putts and I think that was the
difference today,'' Morgan said.

The 62-year-old Irwin closed with a 69. Irwin, who began the
round tied for the lead with Morgan and Smyth, opened with a double
bogey and missed a 3½-foot birdie put on the 15th hole.

"It's a long way to come back. You just can't come back from
double bogeys, particularly when it's right out of the box,'' Irwin
said. "It was such a reverse momentum, I knew I was in a big, big
hole.''

With the victory, Morgan broke a tie with Miller Barber for
third place on the 50-and-over tour's career list. Irwin is the
leader with 45, and Lee Trevino has 29 wins.

Tom Watson shot a 69 to finish third at 10 under. Scott Simpson,
the 2006 winner, had a 67 to join Des Smyth (73) and Don Pooley
(67) at 8 under.

Morgan earned $300,000 from the $2 million purse.