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Fleisher Wins Transamerica

Even after six victories in his rookie season on the Senior PGA Tour, Bruce Fleisher still can't figure it out.

"All I can say is `Wow,"' Fleisher said Sunday after a 5-under 67 gave him a one-stroke victory in the $1.1 million Transamerica seniors event.

"I feel pretty darn privileged," Fleisher said following win No. 6. "I haven't had time to sit back and analyze what I've done. It's hard for me to grasp what I've really done. I don't see it as a gigantic phenomenon."

Fleisher's 17-under 199 was a tournament record and the first prize of $165,000 put him over the $2 million mark this year and kept him atop the money list. He has won all four tournaments in which he has been in sole possession of the lead going into the final round.

Fleisher played in 408 PGA Tour events between 1972-98, winning one tournament, in 1991. He earned just over $1.6 million, never more than $250,000 in any one year.

"I just think I got better with age," Fleisher said. "At least this moment in time. Maybe I wasn't ready to handle it before. That other tour is work. This is more fun."

Allen Doyle, who is also a tour rookie, closed with a 66 and earned $96,800 for second place, keeping him third on the money list behind Hale Irwin. Walter Hall had a final-round 67 and was third at 202.

"After six holes or so we were all in trouble," Doyle said. "He comes out and birdies four of his first six holes. He eliminated all but a couple of guys. We didn't have to worry about somebody coming out of the pack."

Hubert Green shot a 6-under 66 to finish fourth at 203, two strokes better than Gary McCord, who had a 66, Al Geiberger (68) and Mike McCullough (68).

Doyle birdied No. 16 to break out of a tie for second with Hall and move within a stroke of Fleisher but could never catch him.

On 17, Doyle had a putt lean over the hole, but not fall in. On 18, his second shot hit a tree branch and sailed over a scoreboard and landed near a golf cart.

"There's nothing you can do after the fact," Doyle said. "On the 18th I was trying to make something happen and it worked against me."

Fleisher, the U.S. Amateur champion in 1968, is only the second rookie to earn over $2 million, joining Gil Morgan, who did it in 1997.

"I was pretty tight all day," leisher said. "I just tried to keep calm, keep smooth. I got off to a wonderful start and that helped. I could have put it away earlier, but I realized they were chasing me. I was patient."

Bob Murphy shot Sunday's best round, a 65, to climb into a tie for 11th with a 207. He started the final round tied for 27th.

Defending champion Jim Colbert finished with a 3-under 69 for a 207 total. Irwin shot a 1-over 73 and was at 219.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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