By Al Campbell
CALGARY, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Jerry Kelly captured his third PGA Tour Champions title of the year on Sunday when he beat fellow American John Huston in a first-hole playoff to win the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Canada.
With both players deadlocked at nine-under 201 through 54-holes at Canyon Meadows Golf & Club, Kelly, who closed with a 67, ended it quickly in sudden death by sinking a four-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green. Huston, who carded a 65, overshot the green in the playoff and could not get his chip close enough to the pin and missed his birdie putt.
"That is a really hard (18th) green to read. There's no way I would have read my putt correctly if I hadn't seen Paul Goydos (70) in regulation," said Kelly who earned 352,500 U.S. dollars for his 11th senior tour title.
"Unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to how fast his putt was. I just was looking at the break because I was on the opposite side so it didn't matter, but it turned out that it did matter."
Padraig Harrington, the three-time Major winner who is in his rookie season on the senior circuit, bounced back from a disastrous second round to shoot 66. The Irishman finished one shot back in equal second with German Alex Cejka (66) and Americans Joe Durant (62), Dean Wilson (66) and Kirk Triplett (69).
South Koreans Charlie Wi (65) and K.J. Choi were the top Asian players at four shots off the pace, tied for equal 12th with defending champion Doug Barron (67) and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez (64).
After starting the day one stroke behind overnight leader Triplett, Kelly closed with a round that included five birdies and two bogeys. The 55-year-old Wisconsin native called the win "bittersweet" as it came against Huston who has returned to playing competitive golf after being out for 18 months with neck problems.
"It was just great seeing Johnny Ray Huston up there again after all his injuries, getting healthy and playing like we know he can," said Kelly, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour. "I wanted it for him, but I had to keep telling myself 'you've got to close, you've got to close'. Very happy about the outcome, but yeah, I always appreciate playing against these guys, they're great."
Huston put himself in contention for his second senior tour title when he carded a round featuring six birdies and a lone bogey at the 442-yard second hole.
"It's been a long time, so I'm happy with the way that I played. The two worst putts I hit all day were on the last hole and in the playoff, but my speed was a lot better today, which made it easier because I had a lot of long putts," said the 61-year-old Illinois native.
"Overall, obviously, a good week because I haven't played good in a long time. But I would have liked to have finished it off."