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Mahaffey Takes Southwestern

John Mahaffey made a 30-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the rain-delayed $1.1 million Southwestern Bell Dominion PGA Senior Tour event at the Dominion Country Club.

Mahaffey, the 1978 PGA Championship winner, won for the first time as a senior and earned $165,000 after the three-man playoff.

Mahaffey, who had a final-round 2-under 70, beat José Maria Cañizares, who missed a 25-footer in near darkness, on the final playoff hole.

Bruce Fleisher, who has won four senior events this year, was eliminated on the first playoff hole when he missed a 12-foot birdie putt.

All three finished the 54 holes of regulation at 12-under 204. Cañizares got into the playoff with a 67, while Fleisher had a 69.

The three-way playoff was a first for the 15-year-old Dominion tournament.

"I started putting better this week," Mahaffey said. "No. 17 was a good hole for me this week."

Mahaffey, a native of nearby Kerrville who has a home at The Dominion, made his third birdie of the day on the par-3 17th during the regular round, to move into a tie at 12 under with Cañizares and Fleisher.

On the first playoff hole, the par-5, 545-yard 18th, Fleisher was eliminated by missing the 12-foot putt. Both Cañizares and Mahaffey made birdie putts and went on to the par-3, 153-yard 17th where Mahaffey made his birdie putt.

"It was a good playoff," Cañizares said. "It looked very easy. Mahaffey hit a very good putt on 17."

Cañizares and Fleisher both collected $88,000 as runners-up.

Larry Nelson shot a 5-under 67 Sunday and was fourth at 11-under 205. Gil Morgan, who had a 71, and Tom Jenkins, who closed with a 69, were another stroke back.

Defending champion Lee Trevino, who won the event three times, ended up in a seven-way tie for 40th place, at 216. He shot a 71 Sunday.

The start of the tournament was delayed by rain for four hours Sunday morning. Then, at 3:30 p.m., the warning horns sounded as lightning came into the area. Play resumed after a delay of 1:45.

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