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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.

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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.

 

 

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,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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