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Pernice wins 3M Championship despite Sluman's 62
Blaine, MN (Sports Network) - Tom Pernice, Jr. birdied his final two holes to close out a 4-under 68 and claim a 1-stroke victory at the 3M Championship.
Pernice, who captured his second career victory on the Champions Tour and first since the 2009 SAS Championship, finished the tournament at 17-under-par 199.
Jeff Sluman fired a 10-under 62 during his final round at TPC Twin Cities to vault himself into the clubhouse lead at 16-under before Pernice's strong finish bumped him into a share of second place with Corey Pavin (66).
Jay Haas (65), Bart Bryant (67) and Rod Spittle (68) shared fourth at 14-under 202, while Craig Stadler (65), Kenny Perry (67), Colin Montgomery (67) and Kirk Triplett (68) tied for seventh at minus-13.
Sluman entered the final round seven strokes off the pace of second-round leader Pernice, but made up that deficit with a sizzling start as he opened his day with seven straight birdies to meet Pernice at 13-under.
His streak stopped with a par at the eighth, which left him a birdie shy of tying the Champions Tour record for consecutive birdies, but he continued his hot start with a gain at the ninth to grab the outright lead.
Pernice, meanwhile, had started his final round and birdied the third to meet Sluman at 14-under. Sluman then made it two in a row at the 10th while Pernice rolled in his second straight birdie at the fourth to remain tied at minus-15.
After parring his next three holes, Sluman again moved ahead with a birdie at the 14th as Pernice tripped to a bogey at the ninth to fall two strokes behind at 14-under.
Sluman parred his final four holes to head into the clubhouse at 16-under.
Pernice would eventually be joined in second by Spittle, Haas, Perry and Pavin before moving ahead of the pack with a birdie at the 12th.
Spittle and Pavin, who were playing alongside each other in the penultimate group, both birdied the 16th to make it a three-way tie for second at 15- under.
After Spittle bogeyed the 17th to fall out of his share of second, Pernice followed with a lengthy birdie putt at the same hole that just managed to roll into the cup to meet Sluman at 16-under.
Pavin then converted about a 5-foot birdie putt at the 18th to make it a three-way tie at minus-16.
Pernice had no plans of a playoff, however, as he stuck his second shot at the par-5 final hole to about 10 feet of the pin and calmly 2-putted for a birdie and the win.
NOTES: This was Pernice's 51st event since his last win ... Pernice had six top-10 finishes in 14 events this season prior to this win ... Pernice collected $262,500 with the win ... Perry, who was making his first start since winning the Senior Players Championship and U.S. Senior Open Championship in consecutive weeks, was trying to become the first player to win three consecutive starts since Fred Couples did so in 2010.
08/04 21:23:47 ET
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