Ryuji Imada stood atop the ridge that overlooks the 18th green at TPC Sugarloaf, wondering about all that commotion down below.
Could it be?
Yep, someone else was in the water.
A year after losing a playoff at the AT&T Classic when he hit a shot into the pond, Imada won the same tournament yesterday in Duluth, Ga., under nearly identical circumstances for his first PGA Tour victory. This time, Kenny Perry came up wet on the 73rd hole.
"I never really believed in destiny," Imada said. "But I'm starting to believe it."
The two finished regulation at 15-under 273, but Perry's ball wound up in the water on the first playoff hole even though his second shot easily cleared the pond in front of the green.
Perry's shot hit a pine tree behind the green. The ball ricocheted straight back across the putting surface and rolled into the water.
"I couldn't really tell what happened," said Imada, who was standing alongside his ball after driving in the rough. "I asked a couple of people and one of them said it was close and another said it was in the water. That's why it took me so long to make the decision to lay up."
Imada played it safe with an iron on the par-5 hole and wound up two-putting for the winning par.
After taking a drop, Perry nearly spun back his wedge into the cup, then missed a 14-footer that would have forced another extra hole. Imada, 31, stepped up and calmly knocked his ball straight in from 4 feet for the victory.
In other tournaments:
* Lorena Ochoa shot a 1-under 71 and posted a one-stroke victory over five players to win the rain-shortened Sybase Classic in Clifton, N.J., her third straight victory.
* Andy Bean saved par on No. 18 after hooking his drive left and bogeying the previous hole, and held on for a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke victory in the Champions Tour's Regions Charity Classic in Hoover, Ala.