Couples wins Senior passes US$1 million

Fred Couples has won the Champions Tour's Constellation Energy Players Championship at the famed Westchester Country Club in Harrison in New York State after a playoff was required to seperate he and fellow American John Cook.

Australia's Peter Senior record yet another good tournament in a Champions Tour major when he finished third just one shot behind the playoff.

Cook has grabbed the lead off the 54 hole leader Couples with a few holes or regulation to go but a bogey at the 16th proved crucial in the closing stages of the tournament. Both players tied the opening two holes of the Playoff befor Couples hits a sand wedge to three feet at the third extra hole and won.

"You know, you're always surprised after you come back," said Couples when asked about his quick return to form after treatment for his back problems. "I did work on my game. I went to Idaho for about 11 days and I played seven days, and then I knew I was hitting the ball pretty well. And then I went to Minnesota, and my short game was horrendous. And once I got here, you know, like I said from day one that I like Westchester. I can play this golf course. It was a huge help that I've played a hundred rounds here over the 30 years I've been on TOUR."

While it was another great week for Senior he is clearly becoming frustrated about not being able to convert the opportunities he is creating to win his first Champions Tour event. A bogey at the 15th hole today ultimately cost him a place in the playoff after he had stayed in touch with Couples and Cook all day.

"It's becoming the same thing every week, isn't it?" said Senior. "I just putted badly today. I didn't hole anything. I had a few opportunities. Put it in the right spot, straight uphill, missed a shorty on 13, left it in the jaws on 14. You know, and bogeyed 15, and you know, I just don't seem to produce anything on Sunday. It is just starting to really bug me.

"I'm really happy with the golf I've been playing. I'd just like to hoist something. It's been nearly two years, and I've had plenty of opportunity and haven't closed one out yet. So yeah, I just feel a little disappointed."

Senior will however take a cheque for U$194,000 away from the event, his biggest in his two years on the Champions Tour and take his earnings beyond US$1 million for the season.

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