Compared to his last victory a year ago, this one came with little stress. David Graham was in control most of Sunday at the Raley's Gold Rush Classic.
Graham produced four straight birdies on the front side, taking the lead for good and never relinquishing it as he established a tournament record in winning for the first time this season. He picked up a check for $165,000 and was the 19th player to win a tournament this season on the Senior PGA Tour.
Graham shot a 7-under 65 at Serrano Country Club, winning by four strokes and compiling a 54-hole total of 17-under 199.
The Australia native grinded out a victory last year at the Royal Caribbean Classic, outlasting Dave Stockton in a 10-hole playoff.
"That was a marathon, I didn't think today it would finish up like that," said Graham, who has five wins as a senior. "It was nice to play the last three or four holes with less stress than that 10-hole playoff."
Graham finished the tournament like he started it when he tied the course record with a 63 to take the first-round lead. He slipped to a 71 Saturday, then came back with another strong effort to win the tournament in record fashion.
"The weather had a lot to do with that," Graham said. "There was a moderate wind Friday and Saturday and today was an absolutely perfect day to play. It's not that difficult out here on a calm day."
Larry Mowry shot a 5-under 67 to finish second.
Mowry, who started the day four strokes behind Doyle, had an eagle on No. 14, pulling within three strokes of Graham, who then birdied the next two holes for a comfortable lead.
"He's playing better than I am; David is playing like I did when I was in my 40s," Mowry said. "I can't touch him."
Neither could Doyle, who led by two strokes entering the final round. Doyle lost the lead for good when Graham birdied No. 5 with a 30-foot putt.
"If I could have made a couple putts early it would have been a little tougher for him," Doyle said. "He did a lot of things well, but he putted very, very well."
Last year's tournament champion, Dana Quigley, had the day's low round, an 8-under 64. Quigley matched last year's final-roud score when he came from behind to win by three strokes.
"I just decided today I would go at the pin and see what kind of score I could make," Quigley said.
Divots: Mowry had an eagle on the par-5 14th after hitting the cart path with his drive.
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