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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, Fred Fires Into The Front.

Fred Couples fires himself into the front of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in the second round at TPC  Harding Park.

Couples in control

Fred Couples / Getty Images

Fred had a bogey free second round -6 under par 65, to lead the Charles Schwab Cup Championship on -12 under par at the half way stage at TPC Harding Park. He emphasized that this was a big event, and he was here to win, despite something wrong with injuries to his neck and back;

” This is a big event, these are the best players on the tour and I want to win. I’m certainly not playing any better because I want to win. I wanted to win at Birmingham, Seattle, Chicago, Newport and everywhere else I finished second. I had another good round and hit the ball well, when I hit pretty good irons I made the birdies. When you’re near the lead, playing fast is a bonus. There’s something going on, it’s just not comfortable. It’s doable, sometimes when I turn I snag it. It’s more at night when I’m lying down. My back hurts and I don’t sleep much. I wouldn’t be playing if it hurt to swing. This is one of my all-time favorite courses, that helps me. As far as length, if I hit every fairway, I’ll have an advantage all right, over my normal game.”

First round leader Peter Senior is in second place. his second round of -2 under par 69 giving him a tournament total of -10 under par, leaving him two shots off the pace. He said he did not do too much wrong, apart from missing some putts;

” I didn’t do much wrong, I didn’t get away with anything but I think I’m in a good position. I had a heap of chances early in the round that I didn’t convert.”

Bart Bryant is in  third position after his second round of -5 under par 66,, for a -8 under par total.

Bernhard Langer is another stroke back. and occupying fourth place alone after a -3 under par 68, for a -7 under par total. He is in a tussle with Kenny Perry for the year-long overall title, and the math needed to work out who is most likely at this point would need Einstein to work out. Kenny, who currently leads overall is in T11 position.

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.

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.

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