Notebook, Round 3: Montreal ChampionshipJuly 04, 2010
Phil Stambaugh, PGA TOUR Staff
Tournament recap: Larry Mize used an eagle and three consecutive birdies on the back nine to ease past a snake-bit John Cook for his first career victory on the Champions Tour. Mize holed a 40-foot eagle putt at the par-5 10th hole to first take the lead but he then dropped back into a tie with Cook after making bogey at the par-4 12th. However, Mize quickly regained the lead and the momentum with a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-5 14th hole and then followed by hitting an 8-iron shot to three feet for a tap-in birdie at No. 15.
He added a third consecutive birdie when his 15 foot-putt dropped at No. 16 and it proved to be the deciding margin. Cook staged a late rally with birdies of his own at Nos. 14 and 15 to pull within one shot of Mize, but a missed three-footer for birdie at No. 16 proved to be his undoing.
• Mize wins his first Champions Tour event in his 36th career start on the circuit. Mize's last of four PGA TOUR titles came at the 1993 Buick Open in Michigan. He ended a TOUR victory drought of 16 years, 10 months and 26 days with his win in Quebec.
• Mize is the 10th different winner on the Champions Tour this year and he joins Fred Couples (ACE Group Classic) and Mark O'Meara (Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf with Nick Price) as the third first-time champion on the circuit in 2010.
• Mize's final-round 8-under-par 64 matched his career-low score on the Champions Tour (Rd. 3 of 2009 Senior British Open Championship) and was his lowest final-round score to win in his TOUR career.
• Mize's victory Sunday gives him a two-year exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
• Mize earned a check for $270,000 and more importantly, collected 270 Charles Schwab Cup points as a result of his victory Sunday. Mize moved up into 11th place in the season-long Schwab Cup standings with 456 total points for the year. After 13 official events, Fred Couples still leads with 1,433 points and Tom Lehman is second with 1,134 points. Nick Price was idle this week but is still in third place with 974 points. At the end of the official season, the player with the most Schwab Cup points will earn a $1 million payout.
• Mize had just one top-10 finish in 11 starts on the PGA TOUR at the RBC Canadian Open. His best effort in Canada was a T9 in 1985.
• Mize's winning score of 17-under-par 199 was easily his best on the Champions Tour in a three-round event. Mize's previous-best for 54 holes was when he finished seventh earlier in the 2010 season at the Cap Cana Championship with a three-round score of 12-under 204.
• Cook bogeyed only the first hole in the first round but, despite making 15 birdies and an eagle over his last 53 holes, he finished second for the third time this year. Cook lost in a playoff to Bernhard Langer at the Allianz Championship and teamed with Joey Sindelar to lose in a playoff to Nick Price and Mark O'Meara at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
• Forsman's final-round 65 moved him up into a T3 finish for the second consecutive week. Dating back to his victory in Birmingham at the Regions Charity Classic in mid-May, Forsman has been among the top-five in four of his last five tournaments on the Champions Tour.
• Loren Roberts, last week's champion at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open, was T5 this week, his third straight top-five performance on the Champions Tour. It was the first time Roberts, the 2007 and 2009 Charles Schwab Cup winner, had three straight top-fives on the Champions Tour since he reeled off five in a row during the summer last year.
• Jay Haas' T5 this week was his best finish in an individual stroke-play event since he was T2 near the end of last year at the AT&T Championship in San Antonio. Haas teamed with Fred Couples to finish fourth earlier this year at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf, an official-money, better-ball, team event.
• Bob Gilder was T5 at the Montreal Championship, his best performance on the Champions Tour since he was fourth at the Commerce Bank Championship on July 1, 2007.
• The field averaged 70.013 for the inaugural Montreal Championship, making it the easiest course for a full-field event in the first half of the 2010 season. The 976 birdies made were the second most for a 54-hole event on the Champions Tour thus far in the season.
• Larry Mize, Fred Couples and Tom Kite all had two eagles during the week...Russ Cochran made 20 birdies, the most by any player in the field...Hale Irwin led the field in Driving Accuracy, hitting 40 of 42 fairways off the tee (95.24%)...Dave Barr and John Cook both hit 48 of 54 greens in regulation (99.89%)...Russ Cochran averaged only 25 putts per round this week.
• Dating back to last year's Regions Charity Classic, the last 21 three-round Champions Tour events that have gone all 54 holes have been won with a double-digit score under par.
• Larry Mize's winning score of 17-under 199 gives the Champions Tour eight 54-hole events won with sub-200 totals. Last year, only four three-round, stroke-play events all season were won with sub-200 totals. The 2010 Champions Tour started with five consecutive events won with sub-200 scores, a first in Champions Tour history.