Two injury-filled seasons left Jim Albus wondering if he would ever see the winner's circle again. With a three-foot par putt on the 18th hole Sunday at the GTE Classic, Albus was back.
A final round 70 gave Albus a three-day total of 6-under par 207 and a one-shot victory in the Senior PGA Tour event over Jose Maria Canizares, Kermit Zarley and Simon Hobday."You wonder what's going to happen and you wonder about your golf condition," Albus said. "You can't help but question yourself. It makes this a little more special."
Second-round leader Brian Barnes, who ended tied for ninth at 3-under, fell from contention with a final-round 75 that included three birdies, five bogeys and one double bogey.
Barnes' back-nine included three bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies.
Larry Nelson, Hugh Baiocchi, Vicente Fernandez and Raymond Floyd tied for fifth two shots back.
A fractured ankle had sidelined Albus from May until early July last year. He also missed two months following neck surgery in 1996.
The GTE Classic was his first tournament victory since the SBC Presents the Dominion Seniors three years ago. Albus, who also won the GTE in 1993, joined Bob Charles as the event's only multiple winners. It was his sixth career senior title.
The $165,000 winner's check pushed Albus past the $4 million mark with $4,049,318 in Senior Tour career earnings.