Watson storms with 64 to win Cup

Associated Press
Published October 31, 2005

SONOMA, Calif. - Tom Watson figured third-round leader Jay Haas was in good position to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Turns out, he was wrong.

Watson rallied from a six-shot deficit by shooting 8-under 64 Sunday to win the Champions Tour's season-ending event at Sonoma Golf Club.

Surging up the leaderboard as Haas struggled with his drives and putting, Watson finished at 16-under 272 for his second win of the season and eighth victory on the Champions Tour. He won the senior tour's final event of the season for the third time.

Before the final round, the Senior British Open champion told his daughter Meg that Haas was "probably going to run away" with the title.

"I really didn't expect to win. I didn't expect to make 10 birdies like I did," said Watson, who capped the 2000 and 2002 seasons with a victory.

Watson, the winner of 39 PGA Tour titles, earned $440,000 and also claimed the Charles Schwab Cup points race and a $1-million annuity.

Haas, going for his third win in four weeks, closed with 71 and was a stroke back at 15 under. He said his poor putting likely cost him the title.

"I wasn't quite as sharp overall," Haas said.

Haas, going for his third win in four weeks, closed with 71 and was one stroke back. Tom Kite shot 67 and was third at 13 under. Mark McNulty was 11 under after shooting 68, and Loren Roberts and leading money-winner Dana Quigley were another stroke back.

NATIONWIDE: David Branshaw hit an approach to 2 feet for eagle on the par-5 17th to win the Tour Championship in Prattville, Ala., and join 20 other players who earned PGA Tour cards for the 2006 season. Branshaw, 29th on the money list going into the final event, closed with 1-under 71 for a two-shot win over Eric Axley. Branshaw finished at 12-under 272 and earned $117,000. Axley, who was 27th on the money list, bogeyed the 17th for a three-shot swing and wound up with 69. Even so, his runnerup finish was worth $70,200 and sends him to the PGA Tour for the first time.

The top 21 players on the Nationwide money list earn tour cards. An extra spot was created because Jason Gore won three times on the tour to earn an instant promotion to the PGA Tour, where he won the 84 Lumber Classic.

Clearwater's Greg Kraft shot 74-293 to tie for 35th, good for $3,575. That placed him 26th on the money list at $172,490, about $30,000 shy of 21st place.

LPGA: Jee Young Lee of South Korea won her first tour title, closing with 1-over-par 73 for a three-shot victory in the CJ Nine Bridges Classic in Jeju, South Korea. Lee led all three rounds and finished at 5-under 211 to easily beat Mi-Hyun Kim and Carin Koch.

EUROPEAN PGA: Not eligible for all the majors at the start of the year, Colin Montgomerie completed a stellar turnaround when he tied for third in the Volvo Masters at Sotogrande, Spain, and won a record eighth money title on tour. Paul McGinley shot 4-under 67 for a two-shot victory over Sergio Garcia, his first win this year. He finished at 10-under 274. But the season-ending event was all about the Order of Merit, which Montgomerie won seven straight times in the '90s.