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Playoff par secures another major title for Watson

Tom Watson made par on the third playoff hole yesterday to beat Des Smyth and win the Senior British Open at Aberdeen, Scotland.

Watson, a five-time British Open champion, won the Senior British for the second time in three years. In 2003, he beat Carl Mason in a playoff at Turnberry. He joins Gary Player (1988, 1990, 1997), Bob Charles (1989, 1993), Brian Barnes (1995, 1996), and Christy O'Connor Jr. (1999, 2000) as multiple winners of the championship.

''This trophy certainly means something to me," the 55-year-old Watson said. ''It was something of a struggle and it looked as if we could have played that 18th hole all night and still been locked together."

Watson won his seventh senior title and first since the 2003. The victory is his fourth senior major, including the 2001 Senior PGA Championship, the Senior British in 2003, and the Tradition.

Watson held a one-shot lead heading into the final round and closed with a 1-under 70, finishing tied with Smyth (67) at 4-under 280.

Greg Norman, making his Champions Tour debut, shot a final-round 68 and finished third at 3 under. He made a 25-foot birdie putt at the 18th to finish two shots ahead of Craig Stadler, who closed with a 72. Loren Roberts, also playing his first senior event, had a 67 and was four back.

After both Watson and Smyth parred No. 18 twice, the playoff moved to the par-3 No. 17, where Watson made a par and Smyth made bogey after hitting his tee shot into a greenside bunker. He hit his second to within 20 feet, but missed the par putt.

PGA -- Notorious dawdler Ben Crane, whose slow play irked Rory Sabbatini at the Booz Allen Classic last month and perturbed his playing partners during the week, shot a 1-under 69 to win the US Bank Championship in Milwaukee by four strokes over Scott Verplank.

Chad Campbell (65) finished five shots back in third, and two-time winner Jeff Sluman (68) was fourth at minus-14.

European -- Niclas Fasth made a 10-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff against Angel Cabrera to win the Players' Championship of Europe at Alveslohe, Germany.

Cabrera had just missed his putt from a slightly longer distance.

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