Notebook: Rd. 3, AT&T ChampionshipOctober 27, 2013
By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff
Weather: Mostly cloudy with a few moderate showers in the morning then partly sunny with occasional light showers during the day. Highs were near 80 with variable winds 5-10 mph.
Final Leaderboard: 1. Kenny Perry 65-71-67—203 (-13)++; 2. Bernhard Langer 67-69-67—203 (-13); T3 Fred Funk 69-69-67—205 (-11), Kirk Triplett 70-67-68—205 (-11), Colin Montgomerie 68-68-69—205 (-11); T6. John Riegger 70-70-67—207 (-9), Russ Cochran 68-70-69—207 (-9), Anders Forsbrand 67-69-71—207 (-9) ++ Won with birdie-3 on first playoff hole
Kenny Perry made two huge saves on Nos. 17 and 18 and then birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Bernhard Langer for his third win of the 2013 campaign. Perry made a 4-footer to save par at No. 17 and then made a 18-footer on No. 18 to finish at 13-under. Playing one group behind, Langer birdied No. 17 to tie Perry, but he failed to birdie the final hole to set up the playoff. After hitting his second shot (8-iron from 176) on 18 in the playoff to 10 feet, Perry stepped up and sank the putt for the win after Langer’s third shot from behind the green fell short.
-- The victory by Perry gave him three wins in 2013, the first player to win three times since John Cook and Tom Lehman each had three wins in 2011.
-- With his victory, Perry earned 285 points in the Charles Schwab Cup race and opened a 612-point margin over Langer in the season-long race which will conclude this week at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park. Langer will need to win the title to have any chance. There are 880 points available for the winner and last place is worth 48 points, so Perry essentially leads by 660 points.
-- The victory also earned Perry $285,000 and increased his 2013 season earnings to $2,127,438. It marked the first time in his Champions Tour career he has surpassed the $2 million mark and it nearly doubled his 2012 earnings – $1,100,450.
-- This marks the second consecutive year Langer has fallen in a playoff here. He did so a year ago when David Frost made a 9-foot birdie on the second extra hole for the win.
-- Sunday’s playoff was the fourth in the last six events and the seventh this year.
-- Langer continues to lead the race for the Arnold Palmer Award. With one event remaining, Langer leads the money list with $2,234,095 and leads Perry by $106,657.
-- Colin Montgomerie finished T3, his best finish in 10 starts on the Champions Tour this year. Montgomerie led for a portion of Sunday’s final round after starting with birdies on five of his first six holes, but made four bogeys on the back nine to finish two back of the playoff. He moved up to 47th on the final money list with $322,945.
-- There were no changes in the top 30 for the fourth year in succession as all 30 held their spots to earn a berth in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco next week. John Riegger, who held the 30th spot coming into the event, finished T6 and moved up to the 28th spot with Dan Forsman (29th) and Steve Elkington (30th). Rod Spittle moved into the 30th spot at one point in the final round, but he fell by the wayside when he made bogeys on Nos. 14 and 16. He finished $16,901 behind Elkington.
-- Tom Kite rebounded from a first-round 73 with rounds of 67-68 on the weekend and finished T9 his third strong showing in his last three starts. He was T11 at the SAS Championship and followed that with a T6 at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn last week.
-- Heading into the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, a total of 14 players have earned over $1 million this year with Fred Funk becoming the 14th on Sunday following his T3 finish. It was his best finish since he was second at the U.S. Senior Open in July.
-- Perry led all players with 19 birdies, one more than Michael Allen and Montgomerie.
-- Defending champion David Frost bounced back from a 5-over 77 in the opening round to finish T22. Frost was eliminated this weekend from a chance to win the Charles Schwab Cup title but could still finish among the top five and earn one of the annuities that go to the top-5 finishers in the race. He is currently third with 1,971 points.
-- A total of seven rookies are headed to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. They include Duffy Waldorf, Rocco Mediate, Gene Sauers, Steve Elkington, John Riegger, Esteban Toledo and Bart Bryant. That is the since an all-time record 10 rookies finished among the top 30 in 2010.