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Hallberg rides record 61 to first Champions win

CONOVER, N.C. — A milestone victory for Gary Hallberg came with a few records.

Hallberg shot a record-setting 11-under 61 to edge Fred Couples by a stroke Sunday in the Ensure Classic for his first Champions Tour win. His 18-under 198 total tied the event record at the Rock Barn Golf and Spa.

"You never think you're going to win," said Hallberg, who became the seventh first-time winner on the 50-and-older tour this season. "I've never been the most confident golfer in my career … but I'm starting to believe in what I'm doing out there."

Hallberg bettered the final-round record of 62, set by Bob Tway earlier Sunday. Tway had surpassed the mark of 64 set by Doug Tewell in 2004.

Couples (67) had a chance to force a playoff but missed an 8-foot putt for birdie on No. 18.

PGA: Bill Haas overcame five bogeys in the final round to win the Viking Classic by three strokes in Madison, Miss. Haas, who never trailed in the tournament, bogeyed the first hole and had four bogeys on the back nine to shoot even 72. He scattered five birdies to finish at 15-under 273 for his second victory of the year. He earned a spot in the Masters and the U.S. Open. Michael Allen (71) threatened but finished at 12 under. Allen, 51, who turned pro in 1984, has played in 357 PGA tournaments without a victory.

Hallberg rides record 61 to first Champions win 10/03/10 [Last modified: Sunday, October 3, 2010 8:56pm]
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