Ginn Wins Senior Players Tournament

Sunday, July 14th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ Stewart Ginn shot a 6-under 66 Sunday to win the Senior Players Championship, the fourth and final major of the year.

Ginn finished at 14 under to win by one stroke and capture his first victory on the Senior PGA Tour.

Jim Thorpe had the best day with a 65 and closed at 13 under along with Hubert Green and third-round leader Mike McCullough, who began the day one stroke ahead of Green and four ahead of Ginn. Green shot a 70, and McCullough had a 71 during the final round.

Doug Tewell was alone in fifth at 10 under. Ed Dougherty and Hale Irwin, who set nine-hole and first-round records, finished six strokes back. Dave Stockton and Larry Nelson were at 8 under.

Ginn made four straight birdies from Nos. 10-13 to take the lead for good at 14 under.

The 53-year-old Australian, who joined the Senior PGA Tour in 1999 after playing professionally all over the world, maintained his lead with a par-saving putt at 16 after his tee shot landed in the left rough and his second in a bunker.

He birdied 17 to take a two-shot lead over Green and McCullough. Ginn had an accurate drive at 18, which has proven to be an obstacle for leaders in the past, but was short on a chip shot near the green. He needed to make a short putt to bogey, and win the tournament.

Ginn, who started the day at 8 under and in the leader group, pulled within two strokes of McCullough with a birdie at 3 as McCullough bogeyed to drop to 11 under. Ginn had consecutive birdies at Nos. 5 and 6, but so did McCullough, who reached 13 under.

Ginn, who was second once last year, hadn't finished better than a tie for third this year at the Legends of Golf in April. Since then, he's finished as low as a tie for 69th _ at the Senior PGA Championship _ and no better than a tie for 17th.

Ginn began the tournament tied for 35th on the money list and earned $375,000 with his first win since the Golf Digest Japan Championship in 1995.

Thorpe shot a 6-under 30 on the front nine, then a birdie at 13 gave him the lead briefly at 13 under. He parred the final six holes. Thorpe was 15 under after his first-round 74.

Thorpe, who won The Tradition this year, had a chance to be the first player to win two majors in one year since 1998 when both Hale Irwin and Gil Morgan did it. Fuzzy Zoeller, who finished at 7 under, won the Senior PGA Championship. Don Pooley, who ended 3 under, won the Senior U.S. Open.

Defending champion Allen Doyle finished at 6 under.