Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

North, Colbert Win Legends

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

North, Colbert Win Legends

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- In his capacity as an ESPN golf analyst for the past seven years, Andy North had seen Jim Colbert over enough 4-foot putts to hand his ball and glove to caddie Gary Crandall and start rehearsing his victory speech.

Colbert didn't disappoint. He rolled a par putt of that distance in on the final hole of the World Golf Village's The Slammer & The Squire course yesterday to clinch a one-shot victory for the team in the 23rd annual Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Despite playing the last six holes at 1-over par, a closing 66 by Colbert and North gave them a 25-under-par 191, making them the second wire-to-wire winners in a row, and the seventh in the history of the tournament. It was the lowest 54-hole total since Dale Douglass and Charles Coody shot 28 under in 1994 at the Barton Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas.

Colbert and North will split a record $322,000 first-place check.

Bruce Fleisher and David Graham (63) birdied two of the last three holes and finished second at 24 under to split $184,000. Gil Morgan and Hubert Green (65), the 1999 Legends winners, were third at 23 under; and three teams tied for fourth: Lee Trevino and Mike Hill (64), Larry Nelson and Jay Sigel (63) and John Mahaffey and Tom Wargo (66).

Colbert, who finished among the top 10 in seven prior starts in the Legends without a victory, and North, playing in his first Senior Tour event, had a four-shot lead with three holes to play at 26 under. But they made one of only two bogeys the field had all week at the par-5 16th hole. Fleisher birdied 16 on a 20-footer and Graham birdied the 18th, on a 15-foot putt, to cut the lead to one shot.

North hit his approach shot at the final hole into the left bunker, blasted out to 10 feet, and missed the par attempt. Colbert had a 45-footer for birdie, and lagged it to 4 feet. With a playoff looming if he missed, Colbert drilled the putt into the heart of the hole for the victory.

"I absolutely knew Jim was going to make it," North said. …

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