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Tampa native Woody Austin wins again on Champions Tour

Woody Austin celebrates his tournament-record-tying 8-under 64 that puts him in a playoff, which he wins on the second hole.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Woody Austin celebrates his tournament-record-tying 8-under 64 that puts him in a playoff, which he wins on the second hole.

DULUTH, Ga. — Woody Austin's Sunday putter came through again.

The Tampa native tied the tournament record with 8-under 64 and beat Wes Short with par on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff in the Champions Tour's Mitsubishi Electric Classic.

Austin, 52, has two victories in the past three events on the 50-and-over tour, also winning in Tucson, Ariz., last month. In each win he switched putters for the final round.

It's an example of why he said, "I'm not a normal person when it comes to golf."

"I do everything quite different than most golfers," said Austin, who starred at Chamberlain High in the early '80s and later at the University of Miami. "I'm not a range guy. I don't even go to the range an hour before my round."

Austin also didn't go to the range after his 64, instead sitting in the clubhouse for about an hour as Short and others finished. The televised coverage of the tournament kept showing Austin munching on popcorn.

Austin, who resides in Kansas, didn't hear the commentators speculate about why he wasn't warming up, because he wasn't even watching the tournament.

"I went in the clubhouse because I wanted to watch the Cavaliers-Pistons game," he said. "I'm a sports junkie. I was more happy watching that. That keeps my mind off what is going on."

Austin won the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship at age 49 for the last of his four PGA Tour titles. His win in Tucson last month was his first on the senior tour.

Austin said his Sunday putter — the same style but black instead of silver — has earned a try in the first round of his next tournament.

Short bogeyed the second playoff after pulling his tee shot left into tall grass for the second time. He finished regulation with 68 and could have avoided the playoff at TPC Sugarloaf but missed a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 18, leaving him tied with Austin at 11 under.

Paul Goydos had 67 to finish third at 10 under. Joey Sindelar (67), Tom Lehman (67), Miguel Angel Jimenez (68) and Colin Montgomerie (69) were another stroke back.

PGA: Branden Grace shot 5-under 66 to overtake Luke Donald and win the RBC Heritage for his first tour title and 11th worldwide victory. Three shots behind Donald entering the day, Grace moved to the top with four birdies on his first six holes. The South African pulled three shots in front of Donald after birdies on the 12th and 13th holes. Grace finished at 9-under 275, two shots ahead of Donald (71) and Russell Knox (67). Grace became the latest to rally past hard-luck leader Donald at Harbour Town Golf Links. The Englishman has finished second four times and third twice in the past eight events here. Brandt Snedeker shot a final-round 64 to catch Donald and win in a playoff in 2011. Matt Kuchar shot 64 in 2014, overtaking Donald for the win with a chip-in from the bunker on the 72nd hole.

Tampa native Woody Austin wins again on Champions Tour 04/17/16 [Last modified: Sunday, April 17, 2016 9:53pm]
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