Morgan, 60, holds off Irwin, 62, at Wal-Mart First Tee Open

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September 02, 2007
PGA TOUR staff

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- 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.

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INSIDE THE NUMBERS
MORGAN'S FINAL STATS
Category Total Rank
Eagles 0 N/A
Birdies 16 T1
Pars 36 T25
Bogeys 2 T75
Double Bogeys 0 N/A
Other 0 N/A
Driving Accuracy 69.0% T47
Driving Distance 275.8 yds. 19
Putts per Round 28.0 T9
Putts per GIR 1.690 6
Greens in Regulation 77.8% T3
Sand Saves 100.0% T1

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 3-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 Champions 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. Bernhard Langer shot a 71 to tie for 10th at 6 under in his Champions Tour debut.

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

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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