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Monty in America.

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Monty in America is a great spectacle these days, especially as he has just won the  U.S. Senior Open, to go along with his victory at the Senior PGA Championship. That is two Majors in 2014 and he is looking forward to a battle royal against Bernhard Langer for the Charles Schwab Cup.

Monty won the U.S. Senior Open in a play-off against Gene Sauers, after he had come from four shots off Gene’s lead at the start of play to force the three hole play-off;

Monty and Trophy / USGA/John Mummert

“You talk about the Ryder Cup and one-on-one, I’m usually quite good. A play-off in a golf tournament is like a penalty shootout in the World Cup. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

“It’s been a great summer, I’m really on top of the world right now. My play-off record is pretty weak, to be honest. I think I’ve been in 10 worldwide and won one of them up until today. I’ve lost in a play-off – 1994 – and been one shot behind a couple of times – in 1997 and 2006 – and you have to wait until you’re 50 to finally win one.”

“I have been made very welcome here on the Champions Tour and it’s a delight to come and play here on great golf courses. The weather is a lot better than it is at home and I’m enjoying it. I think if you enjoy something, you’re usually quite good at it, no matter what it is. I’m enjoying playing golf here in America in my latter years and thrilled and delighted that I’m able to do so.”

Monty has matured on the golf course these days, gone are the irritable diatribes against the gallery. A TV announcer once said that Monty could hear a fly fart from 4oo paces;

“I think I’ve matured on the golf course, I’m more patient than I was. I think I felt that in majors when I was contending that I had to play perfect golf, I had to go out and score 64 and it’s amazing the quality of the golf courses and the toughness of them, you don’t. You have to play intelligent golf and I think I’ve matured enough to realize that and play more within myself and sometimes to play away from some pins so you don’t make bogeys and you realize that in major golf pars are usually good enough, especially in USGA events.”

“To stay ahead of Bernhard Langer in any senior event you play in, you’re close to the lead. That was what I was trying to do all week was just stay one ahead of Bernhard Langer. And a great friend of mine,  Ryder Cup colleague of mine and great competitor. At 57 years old, all credit to him for keeping it going the way he does.”

Champions Tour. Senior PGA Championship. Monty Makes It In U.S.

dragon logo darkMonty wins the 75th Senior PGA Championshiphis first-ever official triumph on U.S. soil. 

 

Colin Montgomerie pulled away from the pack for his first-ever official triumph on U.S. soil. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

A rare photo indeed, a smiling Monty / Getty Images

Colin Montgomerie has won his first tournament in the United States of America, a feat bringing so much joy that the normally scowling Monty broke into a huge smile. A final round -6 under par 65 gave Monty his winning total of -13 under par

Colin has suffered from concentration problems for most of  his career, it was once said that he could hear a fly fart from 50 paces. His first words were about that very subject;

“I learned today to concentrate on me, and possibly I haven’t in the past. I feel fantastic, really, superb, there’s a motto: `If you fail and fail, you come back and try again.’ I’ve had a couple of failures here in America and close calls, especially in major championships, and it’s great to finally win, never mind a Champions Tour event, but a Senior PGA Championship event.”

A wonderfully gifted golfer it is good to see Colin lifting a trophy, and enjoying it with a huge grin.

Tom Watson put a charge in the tournament when he started the back nine with consecutive birdies to pull within one shot of the lead at the time. He also shot a -6 under par 65 last round to  finish in second place at -9 under par;

“It was one of the best rounds from tee to green that I played in years, it was really, really good, but the putter felt like a snake in my hands. I missed a lot of short putts today. It could have been a much better scoring round of golf.”

 Tied in third place at -7 under par were Jay Haas and Bernhard Langer.

Champions Tour. Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Brilliant Bernhard Back in the Winners Circle.

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Brilliant Bernhard Langer is back in the winners circle, winning the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.

Back in the winner's circle

Bernhard Langer / Getty Images

Bernhard shot a beautiful final round of -8 under par 64 on the Hualalai Golf Course to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship title by three shots with his tournament score of -22  under par.

Bernhard was extremely pleased with his win;

“It’s a new year and my goal was to get over the hurdle and win as soon as possible. I’m very pleased and extremely blessed to play golf like this. To be 22 under doesn’t happen very often.”

Fred Couples and Jeff Sluman finished tied in second place at -19 under par. Jay Haas was in fourth spot alone on -17  under par.

Jeff  was making his 80th consecutive senior start, he has been among the tour’s top-20 money winners the last five years. All but one of his five birdies came from inside 6 feet, due to great iron play. He finished the last round with a -7 under par 65, with a -19 under par total;

“My iron shots were pretty bueno on those.”

Fred was looking for his 10th Champions win and second in a row, he had a -5 under par 67 last round to also finish at -19 under par.

 The seniors play here again Sept. 18-21 in the Champions Tour Pacific Links Hawaii Championship at Kapolei.

Champions Tour. Mitsubishi Electric Championship. Freddie and Bernhard Lead

 

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 Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer are tied atop the leaderboard of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii.

 

 

After two days of pristine conditions on the Hualalai Course Fred and Bernhard are tied at the top of the leaderboard at -14 under par. Fred carded a second round of -8 under par 64 while Bernhard signed for -7 under par 65.

Fred commented about what he called crazy scoring;

” The scores here are crazy every year, to be honest, the only time I pay attention is Sunday when I’m done. There is definitely frustration, especially because I was leading almost every week at some point. I’m ready for more wins, hopefully.”

Mark O’Meara was just one stroke back of the leaders at -13 under par for the tournament. Mark was – 7 under par after seven holes and finished with a second round of 65.

David Frost , has pulled into contention with a -8 under par 64. David marvelously one-putted 10 times,  and shares fourth place with Jeff Sluman and Steve Elkington at -12 under par.

The final round will be a good contest, a tightly packed leaderboard and good weather conditions will make low scoring very possible.

Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Fantastic Fred Wins. Kenny Crowned Champion.

Freddie Couples won his first event this year, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, with a last round -2 under par 69 for tournament total of -17 under par, a six shot victory. Kenny Perry won the year-long points competition for  the Charles Schwab Cup.

Fred Couples during his win in the 2013 Charles Schwab Cup Championship in San Francisco.

Fred Couples / AP

Fred was happy with his win;

” It’s great to win. It seems like four years ago, now I have 60 days to lose all my momentum. I’d like to have the kind of year Kenny had, the goal is to win the Cup. The goal is to play. This year, I wouldn’t call it a waste, but it was a waste as far as not winning. This week was different, I did not miss many shots. I got the lead and I kept it. I’m not a fierce competitor but I love the competition. Just winning, even if it’s a club championship, you’re thrilled.”

 

King Kenny

Kenny Perry / Getty Images

Kenny remarked on his magical season;

” It’s been a magical season. This is my highest accomplishment. I’ve been close to winning a major on the PGA TOUR and to finally win a few this year, it’s the things dreams are made of.”

Kenny spoke about the challenge from Bernhard Langer;

“Starting the week I said it was 29 against one, and like I was saying, I was trying to be the mayor of San Francisco trying to shake all the players’ hands. I just said, I need one of you to get hot this week and keep Langer off of me. And it was so funny he played right in front of me today, Bernhard did, and I came to the ninth hole, which I knocked a driver and 5-wood on the green, and I looked over at the board and he shot - 4 under on the front nine and I’m thinking this guy just won’t go away. We’ll cherish this year because, you know what, not too many people have one of these. To be able to say that I did it once in my career is a dream come true, to finally, here at 53, to achieve something pretty significant in my golfing career. I’ve had the lead since June or whenever and every week we talk about the Charles Schwab Cup and I’m finally glad it’s over, I don’t want to talk about it no more, I got it.”

Bernhard finished in second place, a last round -4 under par 67, for total of -11 under par, in reality a long way from actually winning the tournament, which he needed to do to beat Kenny to the overall points title.

Tied with Bernhard in second place this week were Peter Senior and Mark O’Meara. As things turned out without Fred winning this week, there would have been a play-off for the overall title. Apparently Kenny was very thankful that Freddie turned on his super dominating performance.

 

Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Couples Creates A Cushion.

Freddie Couples creates a comfortable cushion in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park.

It's all Freddie

Freddie Couples / Getty Images

Freddie, who is winless this season fired a -3 under par 68 third round to extend his lead at the top of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship to five points, with his -15 under par total.

Freddie acknowledged this is the best he has played this year;

“The best I played this year, I’m right there. If someone says are you going to win the Schwab Cup, I would have to have the greatest year ever because I’m going to play 14 times where some guys are going to play 22 times and some of those guys are Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer, who dominate. This year I played Augusta, Los Angeles and Memorial, 13 out here, so that’s 16, there are 52 weeks, I’m playing 16 of them. Wow, I’m really killing myself. I’m going to play Riviera and Augusta, so 18 Champions Tour events, I think that’s pretty good, and if I do well and keep going, I could play like the SAS Championship and Hickory, which would push it to 20.”

“I enjoy having a lead, sometimes when you go and play with a lead, you try to expand it. If you’re behind, every shot is important. I don’t do well with that. I’m just going to go out and play. For the most part it’s about stepping up and just hitting it.”

Mark O’Meara is in  second place after his -4 under par 67. Th defending champion Tom Lehman had the best round of the day, a -6 under par 65, which propelled him up the leaderboard to join Bart Bryant and Peter Senior at -9 under par. Bart  carded a -1 under par  70, and Peter slipped with a +1 over par 72.

Mark was happy with the driver, but missed some putts;

” I drove the ball pretty well. I had some good opportunities early in the round when I hit good putts that just missed the hole.”

Charles Schwab Cup points leader Kenny Perry is tied for seventh at -7 under  par after a 67, and arch rival for the overall title, Bernhard Langer, who needs a victory and also some help to catch Kenny, also was at -77 under par after a modest even par round of 71.

 

Charles Schwab Cup Championship. Super Senior Soots 63.

Peter Senior shot a super 63 in the first round of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the Champions Tour’s season-ending event at TPC Harding Park.

Peter Senior   (Getty Images)

Peter Senior / Getty Images

Peter carded a -8 under par round to top the leaderboard, and is hoping to stay there to record his first Champions Tour title, although he has finished runner-up on five occasions. Peter won the Australian Open last year for his 19th PGA Tour of Australasia victory. He said today was probably his best round of golf ever;

” That was probably the best round of golf I’ve played this year, I putted well and hit it well.”

David Frost shot a round of -7 under par 64, after missing a short putt on the 18th hole, but is only one shot adrift of the lead.

Bernhard Langer, who is bidding to overhaul Kenny Perry’s lead at the top of the overall Charles Schwab standings, shot a round of -4 under par 67. Even if Bernhard wins this tournament Kenny needs only to finish fifth or better to take the season title and the $1 million bonus.

Good Luck to Bernhard, this is promising to be a titanic tussle.

Champions Tour. U.S. Senior Open Kenny Perry Peaks

Kenny Perry peaked at the U.S. Senior Open on the Champions Tour at the Omaha Country Club.

 

Kenny Perry / Getty Images

Kenny Perry shot a last round of -7  under par 63 to win the U.S. Senior Open by five shots from Fred Funk. Kenny amazingly over came a 10 shot deficit at the 36 hole stage, to win with a -13 under par score. This win is Kenny’s second straight senior Major win on the Champions Tour, and he wondered why it took so long;

” It all came together, why, after all these years.  Here I am, almost 53 years old, and it finally came together for me. This is by far the biggest tournament I ever won. I lost the playoff at the Masters and the PGA playoff. I didn’t get the job done. Now to have a USGA title, it’s an Open, it’s our Open, it’s what the players play for. To finally get it, even though it’s a Senior Open, I still regard it as a very high honor. Today’s round was probably the greatest round I’ve ever played, I just was spot on with all my irons. I putted like Ben Crenshaw. It’s just been a remarkable month. I’ve had a great run.”

Fred Funk was in second place at -8 under par, and admitted he got smoked;

He put it to us, six under yesterday, seven today, back-to-back. It’s kind of what he did two weeks ago at Fox Chapel. He just smoked the field on the weekend. He just lapped us.”

 Rocco Mediate and Corey Pavin were tied in third place at -7 under par for the tournament, but well off the pace of Kenny, as was everyone else.

 

Champions Tour. The Principal Charity Classic. Russ Cochran Wins.

Russ Cochran won the Champions Tour, Principal Charity Classic at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines.

Back on top

Russ Cochran / Getty Images

Russ Cochran conquered his 2012 injuries and 35 winless tournaments to step back into the winners circle at the Principal Charity Classic, with a trophy winning score of -11 under par. A tense last round of  -5 under par 67, was enough,  but the left hander said he was not expecting to win, he thought second placed Jay Don Blake would make his last putt;

” I didn’t really expect to win. But I knew I could compete and get in contention. Of course, when you do that, sometimes good things happen. Blake is a tremendous putter. I didn’t want to see him roll it in with all the confidence, and I just felt like he would make it. Being such a good friend, I wanted him to make it.”

Jay Don Blake made bogey on the par three 17th hole, and had a chance to make a play-off with a putt on the 18th, which he missed;

“I quit on the stroke. I didn’t make a good stroke. I kind of de-accelerated and left it out there to the right”

He blamed the bogey on seventeen for unsettling him, leaving him with a total score of -10 under par;

“From then on, it just seemed like I was a little bit cautious with the putter. I wasn’t stroking as aggressive as I was before.”

Tied in third place at -9 under par for the tournament were; Kirk Triplett, Marl Calcavecchia and Duffy Waldorf. Both Kirk and Mark matched the -5 under par final round of 67 of Russ, but Duffy finished with -1 under par, 71.

 

 

Toshiba Classic. Frosty Freezes Freddie with Five Shot Win

Toshiba Classic

David Frost froze out all of his foes in the Toshiba Classic, winning by five shots at Newport Beach Country Club.

David Frost of South Africa celebrates his birdie on the 17th green

David Frost / Getty Images

David Frost triumphed over Fred Couples by five shots at the Toshiba Classic, equaling the record of 19-under par, set by Jay Haas in 2007. Fred chased the wire to wire winning all the way, but there was really nothing that he could do to prevent the South African picking up the title. He could only stand and watch as things unfolded in front of him, like the 50ft birdie putt David sank on the 17th green.

David said afterwards that he had enjoyed the tussle with Freddie;

” I felt as good as I did the first two days, I really enjoyed the tussle with Freddie Couples out there. ‘I’ve been playing really, really consistently and haven’t had any of those ups and downs. I know they will come, but right now I am playing well. ‘Freddie was the one they were rooting for, fortunately, my putter was a little hotter than his was. There was too much work for him. I wasn’t really hitting bad shots.”

Freddie said he became really stiff out on the course;

” I was feeling good, but then I got really, really stiff, I hit a lot of bad wedges. I hit a bad wedge on 6 and 7 and 16. I was kind of flinching at it. They weren’t very good swings, either.”

In real terms -14 under par is a pretty good score, so Freddie cab take good heart by that performance.

Jay Haas and Peter Senior finished tied for third at 11 under par for the tournament. Tom Watson finished fifth another stroke back at -10 under par, and the Champions Tour rookies Rocco Mediate and Esteban Toledo tied for sixth at -9 under par.

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