Notes: Greater Hickory Kia Classic, Rd. 3October 20, 2013
By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff
Weather: Sunny but cool in the morning with highs in the upper-40s. Temperatures reached the mid-60s and winds were light from the north at 5-10 mph.
Final Leaderboard: P1. Michael Allen 67-65-65---197 (-13); 2. Olin Browne 65-68-64---197 (-13); 3. Bernhard Langer 64-66-69---199 (-11); 4. Brad Bryant 66-66-69---201 (-9); 5. John Riegger 65-67-70---202 (-8)
Michael Allen’s two-putt birdie from 15 feet on the first playoff hole allowed him to best Olin Browne in overtime for his second victory of the 2013 season. Allen birdied two of the final three holes in regulation to move past a faltering Bernhard Langer and catch Browne. After both players returned to the par-5 18th hole for the overtime sesson, Allen hit his second shot pin high on the green. Browne’s layed up with his second shot in the right rough but flubbed his pitch short. He then ran his first putt from 40 feet by the hole, allowing Allen to two-putt for the victory. Langer, the 36-hole leader, held a two-stroke lead after his birdie at No. 4 and stayed in contention until three-putting the par-3 17th hole from 50 feet.
With his victory today…
-- Allen wins for the second time in 2013, his second straight year with multiple titles on the Champions Tour. In late March, he won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.
-- Becomes the eighth player overall this year with a pair of titles on the Champions Tour, joining Bernhard Langer, David Frost, Kenny Perry, Rocco Mediate, Esteban Toledo, Mark Wiebe and Russ Cochran.
-- He claims his fifth career title on the Champions Tour in his 80th start.
-- He earns a check for $240,000 and increases his 2013 earnings to $1,382,208.
-- He earns 240 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race and moves up into sixth place in the season-long standings with 1,540 total points.
-- He becomes the ninth different winner in the 11-year history of the Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
-- In only other appearance prior to this year at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic, finished T16 last year.
Final-Round Notes/Statistics at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic At Rock Barn
-- Sunday’s playoff between Michael Allen and Olin Browne was the third in the 11-year history of the Greater Hickory Kia Classic and the first won with a birdie since Andy Bean defeated R.W. Eaks on the first extra hole in 2006. Overall on the 2013 Champions Tour, today’s playoff was the fifth overtime session and the third in the last five tournaments.
-- Allen’s 13-under-par 197 winning score was the highest score to par to win the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn since Craig Stadler claimed the inaugural event in 2003 with a score of 13-under 203.
-- Olin Browne’s runner-up performance this week was his best effort on the Champions Tour since winning the 2011 U.S. Senior Open Championship at Inverness. Browne was only making his 13th start of the season this week, having missed five months with an injury to his lower back.
-- Bernhard Langer’s third-place finish at this year’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn was his eighth straight top-10 performance and his $115,200 check made him the first player on the Champions Tour this year with over $2 million in single-season earnings ($2,066,895), the fifth time in the last six seasons he’s eclipsed that plateau. Langer earned 115 Charles Schwab Cup points this week and cut into Kenny Perry’s Schwab Cup lead in the season-long race. He now trails Perry by 494 points with two official events remaining. Perry didn’t earn any points this week as a result of his T20 effort at Rock Barn this week. With 1,117 available points left for winners of the last two events, only three players still have a mathematical chance at this year’s Schwab Cup: Kenny Perry (2,760), Bernhard Langer (2,266) and David Frost (1,971). Charles Schwab will award a $1 million payout to the player earning to most points at the end of the official season.
-- Bill Glasson posted his best round ever in a TOUR-sponsored event and equaled the 18-hole tournament record when he carded a 9-under-par 61 in the final round. Glasson’s round today shot him up 54 places in the tournament standings into a T9, the biggest move by a player in the field on Sunday. Glasson’s round today equaled the 11-under 61s shot by R.W. Eaks (Rd. 1/2008) and Gary Hallberg (Rd. 3/2010) as the best scores at Rock Barn. Glasson shot 62 earlier this year at the Shaw Charity Classic and on the PGA TOUR, he shot 62 twice.
-- John Riegger’s solo fifth-place effort this week allowed him to move into the 30th position and bump out Japan’s Khoki Idoki, the winner of this year’s Senior PGA Championship. With one official event remaining before the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park, here’s how things stand. A year ago, the player in the No. 30 spot got into the season finale with $516,169 and two years ago, the 30th position had made $552,390 heading into the last tournament of the year. So far after 24 official events this year, 27 players have made more than $540,000. Below is a rundown on the players in positions 27-35.
-- Sweden’s Anders Forsbrand registered a second consecutive top-10 finish when he placed T6 at Rock Barn this week and as a result, he earned a spot into next week’s AT&T Championship in San Antonio as the highest non-exempt player among the top 10. Last week at the SAS Championship, Forsbrand finished T5 to earn a spot into this week’s Greater Hickory Kia Classic.
-- A total of 32 players broke par on Sunday compared to 36 players with sub-70 scores on Friday and 38 players under 70 on Saturday. The overall stroke average today on the par-70 course was 69.875 compared to 69.913 on Saturday and 69.630 on Friday. The overall stroke average to par on the reconfigured layout was 69.805 (-0.195) compared to 72.008 (+0.008) last year on the par-72 Jones Course. Overall, the par-4 first hole yielded only 16 birdies for the week and played as the most difficult (4.320).
-- Browne made the most birdies by a player in the field (18). …Tom Kite led the field in fairways hit with 39 of 42 for the week. … Langer led the field in greens hit in regulation, hitting 48 of 54 (88.89 percent). … Bill Glasson and Mark Mouland averaged just 27.67 putts per round this week.