LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Bob Estes thought he had to shoot 63 to win for the third time on the PGA Tour. He did, but not before an adventure with a desert bush and a par he never expected.
Estes made nine birdies and nine pars, rallying from five shots back Sunday to win the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas. The birdies were routine, but the par at No. 6 will be something he'll remember just as much as the win.
"It was one of the most amazing holes I've played in my life," Estes said after beating Tom Lehman and Rory Sabattini by a shot.
Estes punched a choked-down driver out of a bush in the desert to keep alive his slim hopes, then played nearly flawless the rest of the way for a 9-under 63 that was good enough for a one-stroke win.
"I don't think anybody can call me conservative anymore," Estes said. "My tournament was one shot away from being over when I hit that shot."
Estes had made three birdies to get in contention when he hit a 3-wood off the tee into the desert to the left of the sixth fairway. When he got to his ball, he found it perched waist high in the middle of a bush.
If he declared it unplayable and hit another tee shot, he was looking at least at a double-bogey. If he tried to play it, he might whiff or leave it in the bush.
Estes figured his only chance was to give it a try.
"If I was going to have a chance to win the golf tournament, I was going to have to try and pull that shot off someway," he said. "I didn't know if I could make contact with the ball or not."
Estes pulled out his driver, choked up and swung at the bush. The ball dribbled out over the cart path into the rough. From there, he hit a 9-iron under one tree and over another to 45 feet, then made the curling downhill putt for par.
"I'm not even positive I hit the ball," he said. "I think the bush just propelled it forward."
Estes went on to take the lead for good with a two-putt birdie on 16, taking advantage of a mistake by Lehman on the same hole for his second win of the year.
It was the 17th consecutive round in the 60s for Estes, who played four of five rounds -- including the final two -- without a bogey. Before the round began, he said he thought a 63 was his best chance of winning.
Estes, who won the FedEx St. Jude Classic earlier this year and finished fourth and second in his last two tournaments, finished at 30-under for the five rounds.
"I'm finding my game," Estes said. "I've always been known for my consistency. Now, I'm getting more consistent shooting lower scores."
Playing in the next-to-last group, Estes birdied nine of his first 16 holes to get the lead, then made two routine pars to win the $810,000 first prize, the biggest check of his career.
Lehman stood in the fairway watching Estes two-putt on the par-5 16th for his final birdie, which put him a shot ahead. Lehman had a chance to tie, but hit a 4-iron thin from 218 yards and it landed some 20 yards short of the green in the water.
Eagle putt enables Rachels
to win Transamerica Seniors
NAPA, Calif. (AP) -- Sammy Rachels made a 30-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to cap a final-round 69 and win The Transamerica by one stroke over Raymond Floyd and Doug Tewell.
Rachels' 14-under 202 total gave him his second win on the Senior PGA Tour as he avoided a playoff by leaping over Floyd, who charged from behind with an 8-under 64, and Tewell, who shot a 66.
Rachels reached the green of the 500-yard closing hole with a 5-iron from 202 yards. Rachels, who uses a long putter, lifted his right arm in a subdued celebration when the eagle putt fell.
Allen Doyle, the tour's leading money-winner, John Mahaffey, Bob Gilder and Hale Irwin all finished at 204. Doyle and Mahaffey both had 71s Sunday, while Irwin shot a 65 and Gilder had a 69.
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