McCar­ron wins PGA Tour Cham­pion play­off event in Vir­ginia

Malta Independent - - SPORT / CLASSIFIEDS -

Scott McCar­ron came into the sea­son with a goal of win­ning the Charles Sch­wab Cup Cham­pi­onship.

He put him­self in po­si­tion to do just that on Sun­day in the Do­min­ion Char­ity Clas­sic, mak­ing a 6-foot putt on the first hole of a play­off with Tom Byrum to win the sec­ond of three PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons play­off events. McCar­ron will start next week in Scotts­dale, Ari­zona, sec­ond in points to two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion Bern­hard Langer with the cup on the line.

“I think it’s awe­some. Bern­hard Langer’s had a great year, a phe­nom­e­nal year, one of the best years ever, but it’s a play­off. You’ve got to play well in the play­offs,” McCar­ron said, who moved into the top five in the rank­ings by fin­ish­ing sixth last week in Cal­i­for­nia. “If I can play well next week, I con­trol my own des­tiny.”

The three-time PGA Tour cham­pion won the Prin­ci­pal Char­ity Clas­sic in Iowa in June for his first se­nior vic­tory.

“Any time you win an event, you’ve got a lot of good feel­ings about your game, you’re play­ing well. To win in a play­off in the fash­ion I did just gives you a lot of con­fi­dence,” he said. “For me, go­ing into next week, again, I’m sec­ond in the Sch­wab Cup, and if I can win, I can win the Sch­wab Cup, which I think is amaz­ing.”

McCar­ron, one of the long­est hit­ters on the tour for play­ers 50 and older, did most of his scor­ing on the long­est holes.

“I thought that if I could take ad­van­tage of the par 5s, I could pos­si­bly have a great tour­na­ment, and I cer­tainly did that for most of the week,” he said.

For the sea­son, McCar­ron has had birdie or bet­ter on 54 per cent of par 5s. This week, be birdied nine out of 13, in­clud­ing the play­off hole.

McCar­ron and Byrum each shot 3un­der 69 in reg­u­la­tion to fin­ish at 13 un­der on the James River Course at The Coun­try Club of Vir­ginia. Byrum cre­ated the tie with a birdie at the 16th hole. Both made pars on the next two holes be­fore McCar­ron’s win­ning putt on the ex­tra hole gave him his sec­ond vic­tory this sea­son.

Byrum, seek­ing his first vic­tory in a PGA Tour-sanc­tioned event since the 1989 Kem­per Open, putted first, but his 15-foot put­ter slid past on the left edge. McCar­ron then rolled a slightly bend­ing putt into the cen­ter of the cup.

“I hit that putt just like I wanted,” said Byrum, who left soon af­ter the loss to catch a plane. “I thought I made it.”

McCar­ron had missed a birdie putt on the 54th and fi­nal hole of reg­u­la­tion to ne­ces­si­tate the play­off.

Kevin Suther­land shot a cours­ere­cord 63, with seven birdies and an ea­gle, to tie for third with Brandt Jobe (67) at 11 un­der.

Fred Funk was alone in fifth at 10 un­der. He closed with four con­sec­u­tive birdies for a 67.

Suther­land also chal­lenged for a cov­eted top five-spot in Scotts­dale. But he needed McCar­ron to fal­ter and, when the 51-year-old did not, Suther­land wound up sixth in the standings.

The points were re­set af­ter the event, so that the top five -Langer, McCar­ron, Colin Mont­gomerie, Joe Du­rant and Miguel An­gel Jimenez only have to win the sea­son fi­nale at Desert Moun­tain to cap­ture the Charles Sch­wab Cup.

Langer, who played de­spite a sore knee that kept him out of last week’s tour­na­ment, would have locked up the cham­pi­onship weeks ago be­cause of his huge lead in the player standings, but the first-year for­mat means he has to play to claim the ti­tle. He shot a 71 on Sun­day to tie for sixth at 9 un­der.

“Glad I played. I know what to work on, a cou­ple of things that weren’t fir­ing,” said Langer, who also won the Cup in 2010 and was the dom­i­nant player on the cir­cuit this sea­son. “Spend the next few days work­ing on that and hope­fully be ready next week.”

Each dol­lar earned on Sun­day was worth two points - McCar­ron earned $305,000 worth 610,000 - and was added to the reg­u­lar-sea­son to­tal.

Scott McCar­ron holds the tro­phy af­ter win­ning the Do­min­ion Char­ity Clas­sic tour­na­ment Photo: AP

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