Pooley wins in playoff

Sunday, June 30th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Owings Mills, Maryland-AP) -- Don Pooley made a ten-foot birdie putt on the fifth playoff hole to beat Tom Watson at the U-S Senior Open. Pooley also becomes the first qualifier to win the major event. He also ends a 15-year winless drought on the P-G-A Tour.

Pooley qualified for the tournament by winning a playoff. The first place check of 450-thousand dollars was Pooley's biggest since his last win on the tour, the 1987 Memorial.

He became the sixth golfer to win the tournament in his first try, and the 12th to make his first win on the senior tour a major championship.

Watson was looking to earn a U-S Senior Open title to go with the U-S Open crown he earned 20 years ago. He trailed by five shots with ten holes left in regulation before rallying.

Watson's 4-under-par 67 and Pooley's 70 left both at 10-under 274.

Tom Kite shot a 68 to finish third at 277.