Originally created 09/22/03

Weibring wins SAS Championship in 10th start



CARY, N.C. -- D.A. Weibring used an eagle-birdie finish to spoil Tom Kite's fantastic comeback and win the SAS Championship on Sunday.

Kite shot a career-low 61, rallying from 11 shots back to take the lead at 12 under midway through the final round of the Champions Tour event.

But Weibring, who began the round trailing by five, sank a 9-footer on No. 17 and sealed his first victory in his 10th senior start by making a birdie from 14 feet to cap a 6-under-par 66.

Weibring's 54-hole total of 13-under 203 was good enough to edge Kite and Bobby Wadkins by one shot.

Wadkins made three straight birdies down the stretch to pull to 12 under, but his errant approach shot to No. 17 cost him a chance at birdie. His drive on the final hole landed on the edge of a bunker and his long putt to tie missed to the right.

Kite, who began the day at 1 under, made a 12-foot putt on his final hole for his seventh birdie on the back nine to break the Prestonwood Country Club course record of 62, set by Bruce Lietzke last year.

Kite's jaw dropped and he pumped his fist as his final putt went into the center of the hole for his 11 under round.

Kite, ranked 57th in putting, needed just 22 shots on the greens one day after 33 putts in a 1-over 73 round.

He one-putted every green on the back side, making a 32-footer on No. 13 and one from 27 feet two holes later.

Kite's previous best round was 62 - five different times. He had four 62s in his PGA Tour career, and shot that number on the Champions Tour in the second round of the Gold Rush Classic in 2001.

Kite's early charge made it a six-player race on the back side. But the title chase didn't include second-round leader Jim Ahern, who started at 12 under but lost his three-shot lead in the first four holes.

Ahern, who hit 31 of 36 greens in regulation in his first two rounds, missed three of his first four Sunday for three quick bogeys en route to a 4-over front side.

Doug Tewell appeared to be the favorite to win as he headed to the par-5 17th hole at 12 under. But he flew his second shot over the green, had a poor chip, and settled for par.

Then his approach shot to the 18th was short and right, landing in the rough and he bogeyed to close at 11 under.

Weibring, who turned 50 in May, was at 11 under until he missed a short putt for bogey on No. 16 and appeared to be done. However, he fought off flulike symptoms and fatigue to become the 25th different winner on tour this season.

That tied the record set in 1995.

Lietzke, the two-time defending champion, was never in contention this time, finishing at even-par 216.