Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer defended his title in the Cadillac NFL Players Golf Classic on Saturday, beating Baltimore Ravens tight end Brian Kinchen with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
Dilfer, who won last year with a 71 to edge Kinchen and Dave Alexander of the New York Jets by two strokes, capped a 76 this year with an eight-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of the final round to force the playoff at the Upper Montclair Country Club.In the playoff, which was also played on the par-5 18th hole, both players were on the green in three. But Kinchen's 15-foot putt from above the hole never broke and ended up wide right by less than a foot.
Dilfer made his putt from the right of the pin to win the $30,000 first-place prize money and a Cadillac - both of which he will donate to charity.
Al Del Greco, who won the tournament in its first four years, finished tied for fourth Saturday with a 79.
San Diego Chargers quarterback Casey Weldon finished third with a 78.
Chris Hetherington of the Indianapolis Colts, Glenn Foley of the Jets and Alexander also had 79s.
"A lot of people think Al Del Greco is the best golfer in the NFL and that my winning last year was a fluke," Dilfer said.
"I came in here determined to play four days of good golf and I think I did that," he added. "I never felt more in control of my game than I did today after that first hole."
Even a double bogey on 15 and a bogey on 16 didn't shake Dilfer's confidence although it did let Kinchen back into the match.
"I figured I still had three holes to get a birdie and I had played 16, 17 and 18 well all week," Dilfer said.
Kinchen was third in 1995 and tied for second in both 1996 and last year.
"I don't feel like I gave it away," he said. "I played pretty well. Trent just made two great birdies."