KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii Larry Nelson picked up right where he left off last season in the first Senior PGA Tour event of the year.
Nelson won the MasterCard Seniors Championship yesterday, shooting a 6-under-par 66 for a one-stroke victory over Jim Thorpe.
Nelson, the Senior PGA Tours Player of the Year last season when he won six times, had a 19-under 197 total on the Hualalai Golf Club course. Thorpe shot a 65.
"Its a good way to start the year," said Nelson, who won four of his final eight starts last season and finished second twice. "I think Im battle-hardened already. I think its a continuation of how I played since August."
|Larry Nelson won for the fifth time in his last nine starts.
Nelson earned $240,000 for his 12th victory on the Senior PGA Tour. He won 10 times on the PGA Tour, including three majors.
Thorpe closed to a stroke when Nelson bogeyed No. 15, but Nelson birdied No. 16 to restore his two-stroke lead. Both players parred the 17th, and Thorpe birdied the final hole.
"I played about as good as I can play," Thorpe said. "Ive been battling Larry the last six months and I just cant seem to catch him. Id shoot a 66 and hed shoot a 63, 64. Its been like that."
Bruce Fleisher birdied the last two holes for a 70 and a third-place tie with Ed Dougherty (65) at 202. Gary McCord (66) and Leonard Thompson (70) tied for fifth place at 204.
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