Cook hangs on to win First Tee Open|
Monterey Peninsula, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - John Cook fired a 3-under 69
in Sunday's final round and he was able to hang on and win the First Tee Open
by one shot.
Cook finished the week at 11-under-par 204. The win is Cook's 10th on the
"Especially here it's so special. Not my best stuff today I have to admit
that. I was a little shaky coming down the stretch. You have to remember how
to win," Cook said. "I drew back on some great experiences."
Tom Byrum, who began the day one shot behind Cook, stuck around and put some
pressure on Cook, but a late bogey for Byrum saw him finish in sole possession
of second place at 10-under 205. Byrum also carded a 3-under 69 Sunday at
Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Skip Kendall was also around the top of the leaderboard all day, but a 2-under
70 was not enough as he tied for third at 9-under. He was joined there by
Roger Chapman, who shot a 7-under 65.
Woody Austin's 6-under 66 on Sunday was good enough to put him in sole
possession of fifth at minus-8.
Two-time defending champion Kirk Triplett made a run early, but it was not
enough as his 5-under 67 put him in a tie for sixth at 7-under 208. Billy
Andrade (69), Fred Funk (70) and Lee Janzen (70) also ended at minus-7.
Playing in the penultimate group just ahead of Cook, Byrum jumped into a tie
for the lead with a birdie at the second. Cook came right back with a birdie
of his own on the same hole to take the outright lead again at minus-9.
Byrum made it two birdies in a row with a gain on the third hole, tying Cook
for the lead once again. With his third birdie in four holes on No. 5, Byrum
took the outright at 10-under. A Cook bogey on No. 5 had him two shots back of
Byrum, who then picked up another shot with a birdie on No. 6, making it four
birdies in five holes.
A Cook birdie on six got him back to within two shots at minus-9, and he made
it two gains in a row with another on No. 7 to get him within one.
Byrum tripped to his first bogey on the par-4 eighth hole, putting Cook back
in a tie for the lead. Byrum went two shots up on Cook yet again, however,
when he made birdies on 10 and 12 after making the turn, but Cook responded
with a gain of his own on 13 to stay within one.
Another bogey from Byrum at the 14th dropped him back into a tie with Cook at
minus-11 and it remained that way until the par-3 17th, where Byrum scrambled
for a bogey to put him a shot back of Cook.
Cook remained steady as he finished things off with five straight pars from
No. 14 to claim the 1-shot victory.
"Frustrating year. That's a great way to cap it," Cook said. "Pretty pleased.
I'm happy as can be, especially right here."
Kendall used birdies on six and nine to get within one as he made the turn.
Another birdie on 11 had Kendall tied with cook at 10-under, with Byrum at
minus-12. Kendall did not do enough down the stretch, however, as he finished
with six pars and a bogey at 17 to finish two shots back.
Triplett started off with four birdies in his first five holes, but a bogey on
No. 8 dropped him back to minus-3 for the day. Triplett finished strong with
back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15, but it was not quite enough as he began the
day too far back.
NOTES: Cook has now won at Pebble Beach in high school, as an amateur, on the
PGA Tour and on the Champions Tour ... With the win, Cook earned $285,000 ...
Cook's last win came at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship last year ...
Cook also won 11 times on the PGA Tour ... The Champions Tour is off next week
and it returns in two weeks for the SAS Championship in North Carolina, where
Russ Cochran won last year.
09/28 19:55:44 ET