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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, January 24, 2000

S E N I O R _ P G A _ G O L F

Associated Press
George Archer follows the flight of his shot from the
greenside bunker on the 16th hole during the final round
of the Senior MasterCard Championship at the Hualalai
Resort on the Big Island. Archer shot a final round 69
for a two-shot victory.

Archer on target at
Sr. Tour's MasterCard

A new titanium hip and
driver helps the 60-year-old
compete with the tour's
younger guns

By Bill Kwon


HUALALAI, Hawaii - George Archer struck a blow for the "old guys" as he shot a final-round 69 at the Hualalai Golf Club to become the first player over 60 to win the MasterCard Championship.

Archer finished with a 54-hole total of 207 to win the Senior PGA Tour's 2000 season opener by two strokes and walk off with $199,000 - the biggest paycheck of his 36-year professional career.

The victory was his 19th on the Senior Tour and the first since 1998, as he joined Miller Barber and Al Geiberger as the only two-time winners of the champions-only event.

"I won this event 10 years ago. I plan to win this tournament every 10 years," Archer said. "Just kidding. Nobody wins as a 70-year-old."

Don't count Archer out.

With a new titanium hip replacement and a big-headed, 48-inch driver that's part titanium, Archer is disproving the conception that there's a "55 Wall" on the Senior Tour.

"Every time a new 50-year-old comes out, he bombs it 40 yards past me. It makes you feel like you're driving a Model-A and he's driving a sports car," Archer said.

Thanks to a new driver, which has helped him win more than $560,000 in his last five tournaments, "Suddenly, my Model-A turns into a sports car," Archer said.

"I went to it like a dog to a bone. The driver's getting me out there with the other guys. I should pay them (Cubic Balance). Don't put that in print."

"George obviously played very well today," said Hale Irwin, who finished in a four-way tie for second at 209 with Lee Trevino, Graham Marsh and Dana Quigley.

"The 55-year-old wall is what you make it, how an individual perceives it," Irwin said. "He (Archer) believes he can win and he feels good."

It wasn't always that way for Archer, especially in the last four years when he only won one other time before yesterday.

Before that 1998 victory in the First America Classic, Archer told his wife of 39 years, Donna, that maybe it was time to call it quits and spend more time traveling and fishing "before I get too old."

"Put that on hold," she told him after he won.

"Why stop when I can still dance," Archer said.

Why indeed.

Playing with Trevino, another 60-year-old, Archer saw that they were contending for the victory, especially when the gallery quit the last group and started following them along with defending champion John Jacobs.

Archer became the front-runner with an eagle-3 at the 538-yard seventh hole, whistling a 3-wood from 250 yards out to four feet of the flagstick.

He bogeyed the par-3 eighth, but so did Trevino and Irwin. Marsh double-bogeyed the testy 217-yard hole, which played the most difficult all three days, playing to a scoring average of 3.42.

A fortunate birdie at the par-5 14th, when a hot chip hit the flagstick and stopped four feet from the hole, put Archer at 9-under again.

But a bogey at 16 after he sliced a 4-iron into the right greenside bunker, cut his lead to one again.

Then came his bread-and-butter hole, the par-3 oceanside 17th, the signature hole on the Jack Nicklaus-designed Hualalai course.

"I made five straight 2's out there," said Archer, who birdied the 164-yard hole for the third straight round - five in a row, counting the two pro-am events.

"I had my chances," said Irwin. "I can't say I'm unhappy with the results given how I hit the ball."

MasterCard Championship

At Kailua-Kona
Final round
Par 72

George Archer, $199,000 -- 67-71-69--207

Lee Trevino, $88,875 -- 67-70-72--209

Graham Marsh, $88,875 -- 68-67-74--209

Hale Irwin, $88,875 -- 68-69-72--209

Dana Quigley, $88,875 -- 68-69-72--209

Hubert Green, $50,625 -- 73-68-70--211

John Jacobs, $50,625 -- 64-74-73--211

Vicente Fernandez, $40,125 -- 70-71-71--212

Jim Colbert, $40,125 -- 66-72-74--212

Larry Nelson, $33,000 -- 66-76-71--213

Ray Floyd, $33,000 -- 67-73-73--213

Bruce Fleisher, $28,750 -- 70-75-69--214

John Mahaffey, $26,000 -- 69-73-73--215

Allen Doyle, $26,000 -- 66-73-76--215

Jim Ahern, $23,000 -- 69-75-72--216

Hugh Baiocchi, $23,000 -- 67-74-75--216

Dave Eichelberger, $20,375 -- 73-72-74--219

Bruce Summerhays, $20,375 -- 73-72-74--219

Bob Dickson, $18,250 -- 71-74-75--220

Christy O'Connor, $18,250 -- 70-73-77--220

Isao Aoki, $14,500 -- 70-80-71--221

David Graham, $14,500 -- 70-75-76--221

Gary McCord, $14,500 -- 72-74-75--221

Gary Player, $14,500 -- 74-70-77--221

Leonard Thompson, $14,500 -- 72-72-77--221

Tom Weiskopf, $14,500 -- 68-73-80--221

J.C. Snead, $11,750 -- 72-78-72--222

Bob Duval, $11,750 -- 72-72-78--222

Tom Jenkins, $10,750 -- 73-74-76--223

Larry Ziegler, $10,750 -- 70-75-78--223

Joe Inman, $10,000 -- 72-77-75--224

Fred Gibson, $9,250 -- 72-76-77--225

Jim Dent, $9,250 -- 73-75-77--225

Jack Nicklaus, $8,625 -- 73-80-73--226

Jay Sigel, $8,625 -- 74-73-79--226

Tom McGinnis, $8,250 -- 73-78-78--229

Dave Stockton, $8,000 -- 73-82-75--230

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