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Dustin Johnson goes back to back at Pebble Beach

With a birdie from the bunker on the 18th hole yesterday, Dustin Johnson became the first player in 20 years to win back-to-back Pebble Beach (Calif.) National Pro-Am titles, finishing up with a 2-over-par 74 for a one-shot victory over David Duval and J.B. Holmes.

Johnson posted the highest final round by a Pebble Beach champion since Johnny Miller closed with a 74 in 1994.

Johnson hammered the tee shot at 18, put his approach into a simple lie in the front bunker and blasted out to a little more than 3 feet from the cup. Johnson lightly pumped his fist when he made the putt, becoming the first player in seven years to win with a birdie on the 72nd hole from the final group.

His birdie ended the hopes of Duval, who last won at the Dunlop Phoenix on the Japan Golf Tour at the end of the 2001 season and has fallen so far that he is playing this year on sponsors' exemptions. He closed with a 69.

Paul Goydos, who had a one-shot lead with five holes to play, wound up on the wrong side of the par-5 14th green and took a quadruple-bogey 9.

Couples wins senior event

Fred Couples earned his first Champions Tour victory, overcoming a record-tying round of 11-under 61 by Tommy Armour III to win the ACE Group Classic in Naples, Fla. Couples, who had a five-shot lead at one point, had to make a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and a tap-in par on the final hole for an 8-under 64 and his first victory since the 2003 Shell Houston Open.

- AP

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