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U.S. SENIOR OPEN Doyle earns surprise win with record-setting round



Published: Mon, August 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



He closed with an 8-under 63 to win his third Champions Tour major.

KETTERING (AP) -- No one was even talking about Allen Doyle having a chance to win the U.S. Senior Open. That was precisely the way he wanted it.

Doyle shattered the U.S. Senior Open final-round record Sunday, closing with an 8-under 63 to win his third Champions Tour major while others tossed away their chances.

"No one said a word to me, no one thought I had a chance," Doyle said.

"That's the way it's been for me from Day 1. It doesn't bother me one bit. ... It happens. You just have to put a low score up and make it happen."

Doyle had a bogey-free round that included eight birdies, and he managed to avoid the trouble that knocked third-round co-leaders Craig Stadler and Loren Roberts, as well as D.A. Weibring and others out of contention.

His final-round 63, which beat the course record by a stroke, was the lowest by a Senior Open winner.

Doyle beat the previous final-round score by four shots and finished at 10-under 274, one shot ahead of Roberts and Weibring. The victory, worth $470,000, was his 10th on the Champions Tour.

Coming up short

Stadler led by three shots with 10 holes to play, but imploded and finished four shots behind Doyle. Roberts was in control until making a double-bogey at No. 11. Weibring was on top by a shot with two holes left, but bogeyed both.

Greg Norman and Tom Watson, among others, had prime opportunities to steal the championship, but failed to make putts on the undulating and increasingly slick greens at NCR Country Club.

Doyle, who turned 57 on Tuesday, has a swing that looks as if he's using sawed-off clubs, and a form that he honed as a child while swinging in a room with low ceilings.

He was an afterthought as the final round began, teeing off 70 minutes before the last group.

Then, he had birdies at Nos. 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 to turn in 30 -- matching the tournament record. The only long birdie putt he had was a 20-footer at No. 8.

Doyle then birdied the 10th and 14th holes -- both on 15-footers -- and mustered some gutty pars down the stretch.




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