Covich earns his second-straight Gulf States Section Senior Championship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Trailing by two shots after the first round of the 2000 Gulf States Section PGA Senior Championship at Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Club, defending champion Jerry Covich said before Wednesday’s final round he would have to shoot two- or three-under-par to win.

Covich was at three-under-par through 15 holes on Wednesday, but then had a double bogey-par-bogey finish.

It tuned out to be good enough, however, as Covich won his second straight championship with a even-par 72.

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Covich had a two-day total of 143.

&uot;I started out making one of those 10-12 footers (for birdie on Hole No.1) that I missed on Tuesday,&uot; Covich said.

That birdie got Covich to two-under and closed the gap with first-round leader Rich Fulkerson to one shot.

Covich tied Fulkerson at three-under with a birdie on the par-5 eighth hole and took the lead when Fulkerson bogeyed the par-4 ninth.

Covich then took a two-shot lead with a birdie on the 10th hole, only to nearly have victory slip away.

&uot;I got away with a bad shot on No.12 and I was able to par it,&uot; Covich said.

Fulkerson, who went into the final round with a two-shot lead after shooting a 69 on Tuesday, struggled with his putting on Wednesday and finished with a disappointing 75 to finish one shot back at 144.

Fulkerson had a chance to force a playoff with a birdie on No. 18, but missed the putt to the left to give Covich the win.

It was the second straight year Fulkerson finished in second place behind Covich.

Gerald Gatlin jumped from a tie for sixth place on Tuesday to a third-place finish after shooting a 72 for a two-day score of 153.