Lehman's steadiness wins Senior PGA title

PARKER, Colo. --- Tom Lehman has always prided himself on outlasting his flashier opponents by playing steady if unspectacular golf.


Never was that more evident than Sunday when Lehman won the 71st Senior PGA Championship with a par on the first playoff hole, where Fred Couples and David Frost double-bogeyed after terrible tee shots.

Lehman began the sudden death playoff on No. 18 with a solid shot down the fairway before Couples' only bad tee shot of the tournament veered left into the shrubs, forcing him to take a drop.

Frost's tee shot ended up in the left bunker and he pulled his second shot left of the gallery. He cleared out dozens of pine cones in between him and the green before striking his ball, which was nestled in a shrub, across the green.

"That was just a bizarre playoff," Lehman said. "I'm not sure I've ever experienced anything like that. I turned to my caddie and I said, 'How many shots have they taken?' "

Frost and Couples finished with 6s before Lehman's birdie putt from 12 feet came up a quarter roll short.

He smiled, tapped it from there, pumped his right fist and cradled the silver trophy.

"I think I had an advantage from the start because I had just finished," Lehman said. "The longer you have to wait I think the tougher it gets to play in a playoff."

Frost had waited 45 minutes, Couples half an hour.

"And I basically just finished signing my card and went back and hit it," Lehman said.Lehman's first individual Champions Tour triumph -- he teamed with Bernhard Langer to win the 2009 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf -- was worth $360,000.

Couples and Frost each took home $176,000 of the $2 million purse, which was of little consolation to Couples, who has energized the Champions Tour this season, winning half of the six events he entered before coming to Colorado, where the thin air favored his strong drives -- but not in sudden death.

After congratulating Lehman, Couples put his head down and stormed toward the clubhouse, where he quickly grabbed a couple of irons out of his locker and bolted for the parking lot.

"It's pretty disappointing," was all Couples had to say as he hustled to a waiting car.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Luke Donald's late eagle helped secure a one-shot victory over Rhys Davies at the Madrid Masters.

Tied with Davies heading to the 16th hole, Donald claimed the lead after hitting his approach shot from 252 yards to within 12 feet of the hole and sinking the eagle putt.

Donald sealed his first title since 2006 when his Welsh rival missed a chance to take it to a playoff by missing a 20-foot putt at the last.

Donald shot a final-round 5-under-par 67 to finish at 21-under 267. Davies finished with a 68, while Italian star Francesco Molinari also shot 68 and was three shots back.

Former Augusta State player Oliver Wilson, who opened with rounds of 70-71-70, closed with 65 to finish ninth at 276.



Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:22


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