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Esteban Toledo wins Champions Tour event

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas (AP) - Esteban Toledo celebrated Cinco de Mayo by becoming the first Mexican winner in Champions Tour history, beating Mike Goodes with a par on the third hole of a playoff Sunday in the Insperity Championship.

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The 50-year-old Toledo, making his ninth start on the 50-and-over tour, eagled the opening hole and finished with a 5-under 67 to match Goodes and Gene Sauers at 6-under 210 at The Woodlands Country Club.

Cinco de Mayo marks the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, when Mexican troops defeated a French army of Napoleon III, then considered the mightiest military in the world.

``It's a special day for me,'' Toledo said. ``It's a holiday and it's just winning on that day is the most incredible thing I've ever done, because winning on the Champions Tour, it's hard. I have dreams and goals in my life that I was going to win on the Champions Tour, and I think I'm going to keep winning. I believe in myself that I can go up there and win again and again and again.''

Toledo gave a lot of credit to caddie Larry Dittman.

``Yeah, Larry Dittman really helped me in the playoff to stay focused on the game and kept telling me to finish your swing,'' Toledo said. ``Obviously, I've been working with my coach but my caddie really, really got me in the game.''

Goodes shot a 72, and Sauers - eliminated on the second playoff hole with a double bogey- had a 74.

Toledo, seven strokes behind Sauers entering the round, earned $270,000 for his second victory in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. He also won the Web.com Tour's 2005 Lake Erie Charity Classic.

``I felt great this morning,'' Toledo said. ``I told my wife that I was going to go out and shoot a 66 and

catch up with them. And I shoot 67. I guess that was good enough, but I was very focused on the game all day long.''

The three players parred the first extra hole on the par-4 18th. Sauers dropped out on the second playoff hole - also on the 18th - after hitting his second shot into the water behind the green.

Toledo and Goodes went to the par-4 17th, and Toledo won with a tap-in par after Goodes missed a 5-footer.

``I played really good today,'' Goodes said. ``I made four bogeys and never hit a bad shot.''

Sauers had a triple bogey on the par-5 15th, the easiest hole in the tournament and one that he birdied in the first two rounds.

``I hit a bad chip shot and three-putted,'' Sauers said. ``I gave the greens a little too much respect, thinking they were really fast, gave them too much respect and left it way short.''

The three-time PGA Tour winner rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 16th to regain a share of the lead.

Toledo had a chance to pull ahead on the final hole, but his 20-foot birdie putt curved away at the last instant.

Mark Calcavecchia and Loren Roberts tied for fourth at 3 under. Calcavecchia shot 69, and Roberts had a 72.

Bernhard Langer kept the top spot in the Charles Schwab Cup points race. He closed with a 72 to tie for 25th at 5 over. Fred Funk, the 2012 winner, also finished 5 over after a 70.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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