NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Even though he has beaten Bernhard Langer twice down the stretch for Champions Tour titles, Kirk Triplett isn't ready to say he's the German star's nemesis.
"No," Triplett said. "We're just going to say the sample size is still very small."
The 51-year-old Triplett won the ACE Group Classic on Sunday for his third Champions Tour title, holing a 6-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory.
Triplett shot a 6-under 66 to finish at 16-under 200 on TwinEagles' Talon Course. He won the 50-and-over tour's Pebble Beach event the last two years after winning three times on the PGA Tour.
"I've never won out here on this side of the world," Triplett said. "I'm a West Coast guy through and through, so to win on this Bermuda grass is, I think, a little bit of a minor miracle for me."
Langer, the defending champion, Duffy Waldorf and Olin Browne tied for second. Playing in the final threesome, Triplett, Langer and Waldorf were tied for the lead with a hole to play.
In Triplett's last win at Pebble Beach, he also was paired with Langer, who has owned this event the last three years, winning in 2011 and 2013 and finishing second behind Kenny Perry in 2012.
"He's awesome to play with," Triplett said. "I'm telling you, you know the guy, he's such a great competitor and he's such a nice man. We were joking last week, 'If you shot one shot worse than Bernhard every day all year, what would you finish on the money list?' Somebody goes, 'Second, right?' because it just feels that way sometimes."