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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.

 

Sony Open, Hawaii, Rookie Scott Langley Leads

SONY OPEN

on the left is Scott Langley/ Getty Images

The Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club.had a surprising first round leader in Scott Langley, in his first start as a rookie on Tour. Scott fired in a first round 62, -8 under par, with some wonderful stroke play and nerveless putting. Scott said he was excited about the coming days of this tournament;

“I’m a young guy, but I’m old enough to know that we have a lot of golf left. We’ve barely started, and I’m excited about the next few days.”

Just one shot behind the leader in second place is another rookie, Russell Henley, with his opening effort of -7 under par 63. Russell was pleased he got friends Scott and Luke Guthrie as his playing partners in the first round;

“I think there was a lot of nerves for me the first few holes and I think playing with Scotty and Luke was huge for me, and watching them play well kind of gave me a goal to try to keep up with them, so it was definitely fun feeding off them.”

Unfortunately Luke Guthrie did not fare so well, finishing at +1 over par, tied in 88th place.

A year ago Scott and Russell two were playing in a Hooters Tour event in Florida, Russell missing the cut and Scott just making it to proceed, walking up sixteen today the pair reminisced, Scott said;

“We were on the range trying to help each other find it. We were just walking up 16, you could see the ocean behind, PGA TOUR signs everywhere. We looked at each other and realized this is pretty cool. To look back one year ago and to know that we weren’t here, we were in a far different place.”

Tied in third spot at -6 under par are Scott Piercy and Tim Clark, Scott Piercy had a 64 in the morning, with Tim Clark matching that score in the afternoon session. Tim spent most of last year suffering from a mystery elbow injury, and came into this tournament with fairly low expectations;

“It’s going to be an exciting year for me because I do feel like I’m healthy again and can play a full schedule. I’m obviously doing a lot better than I was last year.”

Scott Piercy, the RBC Canadian Open champion, was among 20 players in the field who started their season last week on Maui, at the weather wrecked Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course, he recalled the terrible putting performance he endured;

” Seven three-putts and a four-putt last week. The wind wasn’t even blowing today compared to last week. I just played solid today, hit it in a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, made two fairly key putts and took care of the par fives.”

Seventy players in the 144-man field broke par, they included a pair from the Champions Tour. Russ Cochran, who won the Senior British Open in 2011, he had a first round of 68 and Fred Funk who shot an even par round of 70.

Charles Schwab Cup Championship, Tom Lehman Triumphs

Two for Tom

Tom Lehman/ Chris Condon/PGA Tour

Triumphant Tom Lehman became the first ever back-to-back winner of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, with a final round of -5 under par 65 and a tournament total of -22 under par, six shots clear of his nearest rival. In doing so Tom also picked up the Charles Schwab Cup, the season long points race, coming into the tournament Bernhard Langer was leading that points race, that was until Tom blitzed the Desert Mountain Cochise Course. Tom’s spectacular performance included a 47 hole bogey free run from the back of the 1st round to the turn of the 4th and final round. Tom needed to win this tournament, to have a chance of winning the season long title race, he did, and admits this is a dream come true week;

There’s a lot of times in this world where you need to play well and you don’t. This is one of those weeks where I needed to and I did. All in all, it’s a bit of a dream-come-true week.”

Tom’s  longtime teacher and mentor Jim Flick is battling terminal pancreatic cancer, Tom spoke to Jim briefly before the last round on Sunday. Jim had some special words of wisdom for him;

 “Be Tom Lehman.”

Tom recalled the many times he and Jim had spent time together on the driving range at the Renegade Course at Desert Mountain;

“We probably spent half an hour just back there hitting shots, those are the kind of things you think about. But the more I thought about that, the more teary-eyed I would get. I decided I can’t play this round of golf with tears in my eyes. I have to wait until business was finished. The last hole, I know that he was probably watching today. I felt quite certain that was probably the last driver he was ever going to see me hit and I wanted to make it a good one. And the last 7-iron he will ever see me hit, and I wanted to make that a good one. And the last putt, I wanted to make that putt.”

When it was all over and Tom had secured victory, he had a few moments alone with his head pushed deeply into his white Taylot-Made hat, before being surrounded by family and fellow professionals.

In the tournament, Jay Haas finished in second place alone, after a last round of -1 under par, and a total of -16 under par. Third spot was occupied by Jay Don Blake with his final round of -4 under par, and finishing total of -14 under par. The two Fred’s, Couples and Funk were tied in fourth, Couples suffering a last round of +3 over par 73, to dash any hopes he had of victory. Fred Funk had a better last round, -5 under par, but he never got going in the first round, slumping to +1 over par effort. Bernhard Langer was ruing his par round of 70 on the third day of play, it cost him victory here.

Champions Tour, SAS Championship. Bernhard Langer Wins

Sweet 16

Bernhard Langer/Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

Bernhard Langer won the SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, North Carolina on Sunday with a blistering final round of -9 under par bogey free 63, and tournament total of -13 under par. The win also catapults Bernhard into the lead of the Charles Schwab Cup points race, this is also Bernhard’s 16th Champions Tour victory.  At the start of the day Bernhard was four shots back beginning the final round, he finished it with birdies on the final two holes for his winning score of – 13 under par at the Prestonwood Country Club. Bernhard said he knew he was going to have to dig deep to contest for the trophy;

“I knew I had to go deeper and lower to make up some ground, and thank goodness it was -9 under because Jay Don came very close to tie me. So a lot of good golf, probably only two bad shots and everything else was good or really good. This week was pretty neat to have won from being four behind and played the round that I played today to take over the Schwab Cup lead, to take over the money list, leading in the money list, those are big goals of mine that I set at the beginning of the year, and obviously it’s not done, but I’m a little closer to maybe achieving it.”

Jay Don Blake  claimed second place alone,  closing with a final round of -4 under par 68 and a total of -11 under par. He needed a birdie on the par-4 18th to force a playoff, but hit a tree with his drive and finished with a bogey on the hole. Jay Don thought he was having problems with his rhythm;

Probably the rhythm that I was in wasn’t very good because I was just making pars; Bernhard was making all the birdies. You just feel like you have to be more aggressive. But sometimes being aggressive doesn’t always work out. Trying to be too aggressive on 18 kind of hurt me.”

Mark Wiebe also shot a final round of -4 under par 68 to finish on his own in third place with a total of  -10 under par for the tournament. Fred Funk, the leader at the start of play on the last day, had a mediocre -1 under par final round, finishing in a tie for fourth spot.

Champions Tour, SAS Championship,Funk and Pate tied at the Top

Fred Funk and Steve Pate are still tied at the top of the leaderboard in the SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, North Carolina after the second round. Both players have had identical scores for the first two rounds of 67 and 69 for totals of -8 under par.

Fred Funk a seven time Champions Tour winner will battle against Steve  Pate, in  the final round tomorrow.  Steve Pate is unfortunately winless in his previous 34 starts on the Champions Tour, and will be concentrating hard to get his first win.

Fred admitted he did not play too well to begin with today;

“Well, it wasn’t a very easy round, the first part, I was really struggling with my whole game and managed to shoot 1 over on the front. I kept working on my swing, trying to figure something out. And I really never could figure anything out, and I tried a couple different swing keys. And all of a sudden, I started hitting it really close and hitting it really solid. I hit it really good; hit some irons really good.”

Steve said nothing was easy today;

” Friday was really easy. I hit everything on line. Saturday, I hit nothing on line, there was nothing easy about it, but I only made one bogey, so that was good. I mean, that could have easily gone sideways pretty quickly, and it didn’t, so that was nice.”

Jay Don Blake and Andrew Magee are just one stroke back, while 65-year-old Larry Nelson had the round of the day, a -6 under par 66, and he leads a quartet of players who are just two back.  Larry Nelson’s second round 66 matched Mark McNulty, Mark O’Meara and Mark Wiebe  for total tournament score of – 6 under par. McNulty had a 68, and O’Meara and Wiebe shot 69. 65 year-old Larry said he was conscious about trying to shoot his age;

“It’s just kind of a personal thing, so I guess that’s probably a good thing to focus on, the tournament is secondary at that point. Now Sunday, the tournament might be a little more better or a little bit more of a priority than it was today.”

Champions Tour. SAS Championship.Comeback King Russ Cochran Leads

SNOQUALMIE, WA - AUGUST 28:  Russ Cochran hits a tee shot on No. 4 during the final round of the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, on August 28, 2011 in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Russ Cochran/Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Champions Tour, SAS Championship at Prestonwood Country Club, Cary, North Carolina got off to good start with Russ Cochran firing a first round -6 under par 66 to top the leaderboard on day one. Russ showed no signs of rustiness after his enforced 12 week lay-off due to a troublesome back problem. He was the 2010 winner of this event, and today managed hit all 18 greens in regulation to lead all the players in that category and also holds a one-stroke lead over four other  players who are tied in second place at -5 under par. They are Steve Pate, Andrew Magee, Jay Don Blake and Fred Funk. The defending champion is Kenny Perry and he leads a group of five players who are two strokes behind the leader.

Russ said he was really just happy to be out on the course;

“I came here hoping to finish the tournament really, but I fell into a great mode and played a good, solid round. Maybe I need more time off, I don’t know. Of course, when you’re playing well, you feel like you could do it all the time, but I’ve got to give myself a lot of room and be very, very patient and realize that I haven’t been in the heat in a long time. I haven’t played; much less been in the heat. I’ll be pretty calm Saturday, I think.”

Fred Funk said he had a very good front nine, he made the turn in 30 strokes;

“I had a really efficient front nine,I got everything out of that front nine. Obviously, shooting – 5 under’s great. I’m playing really good. I’m playing solid, close to playing really, really good, and it’s more; it’s fun just to play.”

 

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