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Wargo Wins In Playoff

Tom Wargo got over his final-round problems in a big way Sunday.

The former club pro won for the first time since 1995, holing a 20-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff with Gary McCord in the Invitational.

"To hold up under the pressure and a playoff situation, that's what you look for in the game of golf," Wargo said.

The frustration of not being able to finish off a tournament started to get to him last September.

"We kept playing bad on Sunday," he said. "It was horrible. We just kept going and going. I kept hoping that the third round would come on Sunday, but it never did."

So the 57-year-old player took some time off and worked on his golf course in Centralia, Ill.

"I wanted to go home," he said. "For the first time, I didn't want to go out and play golf."

McCord, the CBS commentator who won two times last year as a rookie on Senior PGA Tour, had a chance to extend the playoff, but missed a 6-foot birdie putt.

"I had that putt earlier a little longer and the putt broke to the right about 3 inches, 4 inches," McCord said. "That putt was on the same line and it broke left. I don't know what happened."

J.C. Snead was eliminated from the playoff after a bogey on the first extra hole.

"I can't believe I missed that putt," Snead said. "It didn't even hit the hole. I should have marked it. I was just trying to get out of McCord's way. That was just stupidity."

Wargo and McCord shot 4-under-par 68s and Snead closed with a 66 to finish regulation at 14-under 202 on the TPC at Prestancia. Wargo earned $180,000 for his fourth senior title.

Wargo, who won the 1993 PGA Seniors' Championship in his sixth tour start, ended a winless streak dating to the 1995 Dallas Reunion Pro-Am a span of 120 tournaments.

Wargo had a one-stroke lead after 15 holes, but missed a short par putt on No. 16. McCord birdied two of the last four holes.

Steve Veriato (66), Doug Tewell (67) and John D. Morgan (67) tied for third at 13-under 203.

Bruce Summerhays held the lead after the first two rounds and shared it with Wargo for most of the final round.

But Summerhays, who shot a course-record 10-under 62 in the first round, bogeyed four of the final eight holes for a 74. He tied for eighth at 11-under 205.

Wargo is a self-taught player who took up the game when he was 25. Raised on a Michigan dairy farm, he was an iron worker, assembly-line auto worker and bartender.

"We didn't get into the game of golf until real late," he said. "The game of golf has diffeent levels. When you can put yourself on that level to win out here on the senior tour with some of these other players, it's quite an accomplishment, especially after everything that slipped by you when you were in your 20s.

"If I hung the spikes up tomorrow, I would be happy. I've had a great, great eight years out here."

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