Hoch scores back-to-back Champions Tour wins

Hoch scores back-to-back Champions Tour wins

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Chris Park/AP

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Scott Hoch made it back-to-back wins on the Champions Tour on Sunday.

Hoch made an 8-foot birdie putt on the last hole of regulation to get in a four-way playoff, then made another 8-footer on the first playoff hole to win The ACE Group Classic.

Tom Jenkins, Tom Kite and Brad Bryant had already made their pars before Hoch.

“I just said, ‘Look, let’s end it here. I don’t want to play anymore, anything else can happen,”‘ Hoch said. “Nick Price had the same putt, but longer (in regulation). He hit a good putt, but it dove on him.”

Hoch’s dived right in the hole to win $240,000 of the $1.6 million purse to go with the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, where Hoch caught fire on the back nine to win.

Bryant, whom Hoch passed up to win the Allianz, thought he had made his 10-foot putt.

“I hit a great putt, it just missed,” he said. “Sometimes that happens. Maybe it needed a little more speed, but it was just a real good putt. Sometimes you have aces and you get beat.”

In the playoff, Jenkins and Kite both just missed chip shots after going over the green and missing to the left, respectively. All four had finished at 14-under-par 202, with Kite and Bryant shooting 7-under 65s.

Jenkins had a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 17 just miss, and a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that just brushed the edge in regulation.

“It’s disappointing not to win when you have a chance,” Jenkins said. “It doesn’t happen every week. When you get the opportunity, you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

“The last two holes he hit some beautiful putts that didn’t go in,” Hoch said. “Obviously if any of those had gone, my goose would’ve cooked and so would’ve everybody else’s. Like last week, you’ve got to be lucky. Our luck getting in a playoff was him not making any of those great putts he hit right there at the end. He definitely played well enough to win.”

Kite and Bryant both finished an hour so before the final group, so they had to bide their time on the range while the other groups finished.

“I played very well,” Kite said. “I feel good about my game. You can always sit there and find a shot or two. When you come that close, it always hurts.”

Earlier in the round, Hoch holed out for eagle from the fairway on the par-5 No. 9 to grab the lead. But he played the next eight holes at even-par, including the par-5 13th, which had been the easiest hole in the tournament.

“That’s where I felt I really hurt my chances there because I knew I had some tough holes coming up,” Hoch said.

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