Wadkins holds off Floyd with late birdie

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DESTIN, Fla. (AP) – Bobby Wadkins’ seven-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole gave him a one-stroke victory Sunday over venerable Raymond Floyd in the $1.6 million Boeing Championship.

Wadkins, who led at the end of each of the first two rounds in the 54-hole event, finished with a 1-under-70 Sunday and a 10-under 203 for his first PGA Champions Tour win in five years.

Floyd, who is less than four months away from his 64th birthday, shot an 8-under-63 – one stroke shy of his best round ever in a 43-year PGA career.

Floyd, who reached 10-under before his lone bogey of the day, finished more than an hour ahead of Wadkins and could only try and stay loose in case of a playoff at the 6,931-yard Raven Golf Club.

Floyd had built a two-stroke lead on the board at one point with five straight birdies on the backside, but bogeyed 16 while Wadkins birdied at 10 to leave them tied until Wadkins’ next birdie at 17.

Wadkins, who gets $240,000 for the win, began the round with a three-stroke lead in quest of his first Champions tournament victory since 2001 at Long Island, N.Y.

The 54-year-old Virginian shot a course-record 62 Friday, followed by a par round Saturday and a closing 1-under.

Scott Simpson, Loren Roberts, Craig Stadler and Tom Watson finished three shots back of Wadkins while Gil Morgan was four back at 207.

Defending champion Jim Thorpe, who won last year at another Panhandle course, finished 11 shots off with a 1-over 214.

John Harris, who began the day three shots behind Wadkins, slumped to a 7-over-78 Sunday and finished 11 shots back.

Tim Simpson, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour who never won a tour event after being diagnosed with Lyme disease in 1991, finished at 8-over 221 in his Champions Tour debut.

AP-ES-05-14-06 1831EDT

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