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Late Bloomer

Bobby Wadkins emerges at the Players

To the rest ofthe world the thrill of winning a senior major might appear to be diluted bythe sheer number of them, but don't tell that to Bobby Wadkins. Even though theChampions tour is in the midst of a four-week stretch during which it conteststhree of its majors, Wadkins's wobbly win at the Ford Senior Players representsa professional and personal high for a guy who never claimed a title in 14 fullseasons on the PGA Tour and has labored throughout his career in the shadow ofhis talkative and talented older brother, Lanny (21 PGA Tour wins). With thePlayers triumph, his second of the year and third on the senior circuit, Bobby,55, has now flipped the script on Lanny, who has won only once since turning 50in 1999. Best of all, Bobby, who started the final round four strokes behindLoren Roberts, grabbed the lead with a very Lanny-like hot streak of fivestraight birdies on the back nine. The fiery burst brought Bobby to 18 with athree-shot cushion, and he needed all of it, flailing around before finallysinking a 12-footer for a double bogey and a one-shot win at 14-under 274. Downthe stretch Bobby admitted that he was thinking about Lanny, who was callingthe action from the CBS tower. Of the final putt Bobby said, "I had to makeit. I can't imagine the abuse I would have caught from him tonight [if Ihadn't]." ... Wadkins led the field in greens hit in regulation, missingonly 12 all week.

ALSO ...

•John Sendenbecame the 18th first-time winner in the 35-year history of the John DeereClassic. He also became the eighth first-time winner of the season, includingthe last three in a row (Trevor Immelman, Western; J.J. Henry, Buick). •DavidGosset finished at even-par 284, good for 75th place, but more important, itwas Gosset's first made cut since the 2004 Honda Classic, 28 months ago. •BillyHurley III, the Annapolis grad and 2005 Walker Cupper who's trying to convincethe Navy that he could better serve it by playing on the PGA Tour instead offloating around the globe, made his second cut in five starts. Hurley wound upin 47th place after a seven-under 277. •Casey Watabu, 22, defeated Anthony Kim,21, to win the U.S. Amateur Public Links at Gold Mountain Golf Club inBremerton, Wash. The 4-and-3 result was something of an upset as Watabu was along shot from Hawaii who played at Nevada, while Kim, who played for Oklahoma,was a Publinx semifinalist last year and also a member of the '05 Walker Cupteam.

> For AlanShipnuck's British Open blog go to

Survey Says ...
Every player at the John Deere Classic carried a pitching wedge, while 93% ofthe pros had a lob wedge and 87% had a sand wedge. Only 28% had an approachwedge, and a scant 3% used a gap wedge. Here are the most popular lofts foreach type of wedge.

Approach      52º     45%
Gap      52º      50%
Lob      60º      77%
Pitch      48º      44%
Sand      54º      49%

The Darrell Survey has tracked equipment usage at golftournaments since 1938.

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FRATPARTY - Wadkins thought about his brother down the stretch.