Triplett wins Nature Valley First Tee Open by two for his first senior title

Kirk Triplett, Nature Valley First Tee Open
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Kirk Triplett won the Nature Valley First Tee Open in his eighth start on the Champions Tour after turning 50 in March.
Associated Press

Series: Champions Tour

Published: Sunday, July 08, 2012 | 11:18 p.m.

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Kirk Triplett won the Nature Valley First Tee Open on Sunday at Pebble Beach for his first Champions Tour title, making an early eagle and closing with a 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Mark McNulty.

Triplett, the three-time PGA Tour winner making his eighth start on the senior tour after turning 50 in March, finished at 10-under 206. He opened with a 70 at Pebble Beach and had a 70 at Del Monte on Saturday to enter the final round four strokes behind leaders Tom Kite and Brad Bryant.


The Nature Valley First Tee Open pairs 81 juniors from First Tee programs nationwide with the Champions Tour players in the field.

"To win anywhere is special," said Triplett, who joined Olin Browne, Ron Streck, Keith Fergus, Tom Lehman and Gary Hallberg as players who have won on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Tour. "But to win at Pebble Beach is extra special. To do it in my first Champions Tour try is great."

Triplett eagled the par-5 second hole, and chipped in on the par-4 16th for the last of his five birdies. He had only one bogey in the final round, on the par-3 12th.

McNulty closed with a 69.

Triplett won the 2006 Chrysler Classic in Tucson, Ariz., for his last PGA Tour title, and took the Knoxville News-Sentinel Open last August to become the oldest winner in the history of the Tour, then known as the Nationwide Tour.

"I really hadn't been playing that well," said Triplett, who has four top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour. "But I'm doing a lot better lately and feeling more comfortable out there."

Bryant, Jay Haas and Bill Glasson tied for third at 6 under. Haas and Glasson shot 69, and Bryant had a 74.

The 62-year-old Kite closed with a 76 to tie for ninth at 4 under. Jeff Sluman, the 2008, 2009 and 2011 winner, also was 4 under after a 67.