CONCORD, Mass. – Mark McNulty made birdie on the second extra hole Sunday to win a three-way playoff in the Bank of America Championship – the record fourth consecutive Champions Tour event that went to a playoff.

Tom Purtzer slid an 8-foot putt by the lip of the hole to finish in a second-place tie with Don Pooley, who was knocked out with a bogey on the first playoff hole. The course was then cleared because of the threat of thunderstorms, but the rain never came and play resumed about an hour later with the two remaining golfers on the 17th tee.

McNulty put his tee shot on the 166-yard, par-3 17th hole about 15 feet from the hole and he sank the putt to earn $240,000 and his first victory of the year. For the second consecutive year, Purtzer took the lead into the final day but finished second.

Pooley birdied the final two holes of regulation to finish off a final round of 65 and make up four strokes on the leader. That left him in the clubhouse as the leader, with about 45 minutes to wait until the others finished.

He figured he was done for the day because the leaders still had a chance to play No. 18 – a 521-yard par-5 that was the easiest hole on the course for the first two rounds. But when Purtzer, at 12 under, hit his tee shot into a trap on No. 17 and made bogey, Pooley headed back to the range to warm up.

On No. 18, Purtzer left a long eagle putt about 3 feet from the cup and converted the birdie to return to 12 under. McNulty got up and down from the far bunker to reach 12 under and make it a three-way playoff.

They went back to the 18th tee, and Pooley quickly found himself in trouble. He hit his approach into the rough behind the green and couldn’t get up and down. McNulty missed a long birdie putt and Purtzer missed his chance to win from about 6 feet away.

Craig Stadler won last year with a final-round 64 – which is the best Sunday score in the history of the tournament, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Stadler shot 69 Sunday to finish minus 7, five strokes back.

Temperatures cooled only slightly from Saturday, when the thermometer hit the mid-90s and the tour waived its ban on carts. Sunday’s readings were in the low 90s; golfers were back to walking in the morning, but given the option of a cart for the back nine.

Tournament director Tracy West said misting machines were scattered around the course. About a dozen people were treated for symptoms of the heat; one spectator was taken to Emerson Hospital.

“Another 10 degrees lower in heat would have been nice,” she said, noting that rain kept the crowds away in the previous two years. “This year I was really hoping with the weather projecting no rain we’d have huge, huge crowds.”

Instead, the tournament expected to draw about 68,000 people over the three days.

Divots: Mike Reid, who won the Senior PGA Championship, withdrew because of a sore wrist. Mike Hill also withdrew because his wife was sick.

AP-ES-06-26-05 1756EDT


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