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Originally published Sunday, September 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

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Kirk Triplett, Pullman High graduate, successfully defends First Tee Open title at Pebble Beach

Kirk Triplett, a Pullman High School graduate, won the First Tee Open title at Pebble Beach in California for the second consecutive year.

The Associated Press

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Kirk Triplett successfully defended his First Tee Open title Sunday at Pebble Beach, closing with a 4-under-par 68 for a two-stroke victory over Doug Garwood and Dan Forsman.

Triplett, a Pullman High School graduate, was three strokes behind leader Tom Lehman entering the final round of the event on the 50-and-older Champions Tour.

Triplett, 51, finished at 11-under 205 for 54 holes.

Last year, Triplett overcame a four-shot deficit to prevail at Pebble.

“To do it again, I am a bit overwhelmed,” Triplett said. “Last year, I was just so excited. This year, I am almost teary-eyed.”

Triplett earned $270,000 for the victory.

Other tournaments

Andrew Putnam of University Place and Andres Gonzales of Olympia failed to earn PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season at the Tour Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Chesson Hadley won the event with a 10-under 270 total and made $180,000.

The 24-year-old Putnam was in fourth place entering the final round and, according to the Tour’s website, needed to finish about 13th to earn a card. But Putnam shot a 75 — only four of 67 players had a worse final-round score — and tied for 24th place at 3 under.

Gonzales (69) tied for eighth place at 6 under but it wasn’t quite good enough for him to keep his card. The 30-year-old earned $179,387 in 17 PGA Tour events this year. Tour players who already had secured PGA Tour cards for the upcoming season include Michael Putnam, Andrew’s 30-year-old brother, and ex-Washington Husky Alex Prugh from Spokane.

David Howell of England ended a seven-year victory drought with a victory over American Peter Uihlein on the second playoff hole in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a European Tour event in St. Andrews, Scotland.

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