Triplett cards eagle to win Hoag Classic in playoff

Kirk Triplett drained a 12-foot putt for an eagle 3 on the second hole of sudden death to beat out Woody Austin at the Hoag Classic for his seventh Champions tour title.

The 56-year-old Washington state native shot a 3-under par 68 on Sunday at Newport Beach Country Club to put himself at 10-under 203 and tied atop the leaderboard with Austin, who also fired a final-round 68. Triplett balanced out two bogeys with five birdies, including a birdie 4 on the par-5 18th to set up the playoff.

Both players parred No. 18 on the first playoff hole, before Triplett eagled it on the second.

“You always want to play well early (in the season),” said Triplett, who finished tied for second last week in Tucson, Ariz. “But it never works that way, so when it does, you just roll with it.”

The $270,000 first-place prize money moved Triplett up to second place in the 2019 Charles Schwab standings, behind Germany’s Bernhard Langer.

Austin, who started the day tied with Triplett and two shots behind tournament leader Fran Quinn, carded a bogey-free round that was highlighted by an eagle 3 at the third and a birdie at the 10th.

Quinn, who led the first two rounds and was seeking his first Champions victory, stumbled with four bogies and only one birdie en route to a 3-over 74 and finished tied for fifth at 8 under with Steve Flesch and Paul Goydos.

Jeff Maggart, who moved into contention after shooting 63 on Saturday, followed up with a 65 on Sunday to finish tied for third with Scott McCarron, the Round 1 co-leader.

Last year’s champion, Vijay Singh of Fiji, skipped his title defense to play in the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he missed the 36-hole cut on Friday.

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