Doug Gar­wood wins first PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons ti­tle

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Doug Gar­wood ran away with the SAS Cham­pi­onship on Sun­day for his first PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons ti­tle, clos­ing with an 8-un­der 64 for a four-stroke vic­tory.

The 53-year-old Gar­wood won in his 44th start on the 50-an­dover tour. He fin­ished at 16un­der 200 in the reg­u­lar-season fi­nale at Pre­ston­wood Coun­try Club.

“It hasn’t re­ally set­tled in yet,” Gar­wood said. “Some­one asked me last week when my last tour­na­ment win was and I blanked, I couldn’t think of one, so now I won’t have so much trou­ble. Feels great. It was a great day, played well. Beat a cham­pion in Bern­hard Langer, and Larry Mize in my group.”

Langer, two strokes ahead of Gar­wood and Mize en­ter­ing the day, had a 70 to fin­ish se­cond.

“Doug just played phe­nom­e­nal,” Langer said. “His put­ter was hot. He just hit it and went in, hit it and went in. He started walk­ing af­ter it and it dropped. He was like 9 un­der af­ter 16 holes. That’s pretty amaz­ing golf.”

Gar­wood birdied the last three holes on the front nine for a 6un­der 30, made it four in a row on the par-4 10th, added birdies on the par-5 13th and 16th and closed with a bo­gey.

“The put­ter was ob­vi­ously hot today,” Gar­wood said. “I made a lit­tle ad­just­ment. I was aim­ing a lit­tle bit right yes­ter­day and I worked on that and rolled in the 12-footer on 1, rolled in the 40footer on 3 from the fringe, a short putt, about 4-footer on 4 for a two-putt birdie.

“I guess they were say­ing I was walk­ing them in. The first one at 7 I was walk­ing be­cause it was short. I just played it off like I thought it was go­ing in. Then same thing on 8 and same thing on 9. I knew I had made those when I was walk­ing.”

Gar­wood earned $315,000 to jump to 19th on the money list with $798,744. He also got a two-year ex­emp­tion to the Mit­subishi Elec­tric Cham­pi­onship in Hawaii.

“I didn’t fig­ure it would ever hap­pen re­ally,” Gar­wood said. “I never an­tic­i­pated win­ning. I’ve never been goal ori­ented, you know, pro­ject­ing the fu­ture. I like to take it a day at a time, just live in the now. I just en­joy play­ing golf.”

Langer had four birdies and two bo­geys. The 59-year-old Ger­man star leads the tour with four vic­to­ries and $2,697,459. He won the 2012 event.

“I just didn’t have my A-game today,” Langer said. “I missed a few short­ish putts from eight to 10 feet, three of four of them that I made the last few days. Then missed a few fair­ways as well. And this course out of the rough, it’s a very tough golf course be­cause you don’t know how far that ball’s go­ing, whether you get a flyer or not. And when it hits the green, it doesn’t stop.”

Mize shot a 69 to tie for third with Tom Byrum (65) and Jeff Sluman (68) at 11 un­der. Miguel An­gel Jimenez (65) was 10 un­der, and Colin Mont­gomerie (67) topped the group at 9 un­der.

The top 72 play­ers on the money list earned spots in the Charles Sch­wab Cup Play­offs opener, the Pow­erShares QQQ Cham­pi­onship at Sherwood in Cal­i­for­nia on Oct. 28-30.

Corey Pavin fin­ished 72nd with $183,192, but is side­lined by a right el­bow in­jury and won’t play at Sherwood. Michael Bradley was 73rd, $2,388 be­hind Pavin. Bradley closed with a 69 to tie for 13th at 6 un­der. John Daly got in at 70th with $191,261 af­ter skip­ping the event.

A spot also was avail­able for the top fin­isher in the top 10 in the tour­na­ment who ended up out­side the top 72 for the season, but all the top-10 fin­ish­ers were in the top 72.

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