Notes: Legends of Golf, Round 3
June 08, 2014
By Maureen Radzavicz, PGATOUR.COM
- Both Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman each won $230,000 and collected 230 Charles Schwab Cup points. (Chris Condon/Getty Images)
Champions Division Recap
Jeff Sluman made a 6-foot, par-saving, putt on the final hole to allow he and Fred Funk to preserve a one-stroke victory over Peter Jacobsen-Jay Haas at the 37th Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf and first held in the Ozarks. After Haas missed an 8-foot birdie putt to tie the Funk-Sluman team at the 17th hole, all four players hit the final green but all were a considerable distance from the hole. After Funk’s putt up a ridge in the green misjudged the speed and ran 30 feet past, Sluman lagged from a similar distance to within 6 feet. Then after both Jacobsen and Haas missing their lengthy birdie efforts, Sluman holed the winning putt for par. In the epic duel between the two teams, both teams combined to make five birdies each on the back nine in the better-ball portion of the round.
Winner’s Notes - Fred Funk/Jeff Sluman
Jeff Sluman became the fifth player to win the Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf with two different partners. Last year in Savannah, he won the Legends event with Brad Faxon. The other professionals to win the Legends with two different players are: Sam Snead – with Gardner Dickinson (1978), Don January (1982); Gene Littler – with Bob Rosburg (1981), Don January (1985-1986); Don January – with Sam Snead (1982), Gene Littler (1985-1986); Andy North – with Jim Colbert (2000, 2001), Tom Watson (2008).
Today marked the seventh time the Legends has been won by a player(s) in consecutive years. Don January/Gene Littler won back-to-back in 1985-1986, Bruce Crampton/Orville Moody won back-to-back in 1987-1988; Lee Trevino-Mike Hill won back-to-back in both 1991-1992 as well as 1995-1996. Jim Colbert-Andy North won in 2000-2001 and Jay Haas won the Legends as an individual stroke-play event in 2006-2007.
Jeff Sluman’s win today was the sixth of his Champions Tour career, while Fred Funk claimed his ninth victory as a member of the Champions Tour and first since the 2012 Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn.
Both Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman each won $230,000 and each collected 230 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. The pair also earned an additional two-year exemption into the season-opening event in Hawaii – Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
Jim Colbert and his partner, Jim Thorpe, birdied four of the last five holes to pull away from the team of Bruce Fleisher/Larry Nelson and win the Legends Division (65 +) competition by three strokes. For Colbert, it marked the second straight year he’s won a Legends title, claiming last year’s Demaret Division crown in Savannah with Bob Murphy. Colbert also won the overall Legends titles with Andy North in 2000 and 2001. Thorpe finished T4 in this event last year with partner Dana Quigley. Both Colbert and Thorpe earned a check for $60,000.
With Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen finishing second, it marked the sixth consecutive year that second-round leaders/co-leaders have failed to go on to win the event. Haas’ runner-up effort was his best finish of the season and marked the sixth time in the last seven events that he’s finished among the top 3. This week he was playing his 200th career event on the Champions Tour and 999th overall combined on the PGA TOUR/Champions Tour. For Jacobsen, it was his best finish since he was T2 at the 2006 Legends when it was an individual stroke-play event.
The Jay Haas-Peter Jacobsen team made 23 birdies, the most birdies in the event, while the winning team of Fred Funk-Jeff Sluman made 21 birdies but only one bogey over the 54 holes (No. 4-Top of the Rock/Rd. 2). The team of Craig Stadler-Kirk Triplett played all 54 holes without making a bogey and finished third at 14-under. Stadler and Triplett teamed together for the first time last year and were T4 in Savannah.
Bernhard Langer extended his streak of top-10 finishes to 20 straight on the Champions Tour and 21 consecutive including a T8 at the Masters. Langer’s run dates back to last summer. The World Golf Hall of Famer from Germany remained atop the standings in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race, earning 82 points this week for a T7 with partner Tom Lehman. Langer now has 1,593 points on the season. Jay Haas earned 130 Schwab Cup points as a result of his runner-up finish with partner Peter Jacobsen and moved ahead of Colin Montgomerie (1,227 points) into second place in the season-long race with 1,312 points.
Dale Douglass made the first ace in the event at Top of the Rock, holing a sand wedge from 98 yards at the 2nd hole. It was Douglass’ fourth career ace on the Champions Tour and his first since the 2004 Allianz Championship in Des Moines. Ironically, Douglass aced the 2nd hole at Glen Oaks Country Club in the final round that year. It was the fourth ace on the Champions Tour this year. Douglass’ ace was the 11th in tournament history.
Several players made their first appearances in this year’s Big Cedar Lodge Legends of Golf. Billy Andrade debuted with a T10 finish with partner Tommy Armour III while Steve Lowery was T23 with veteran Mark O’Meara in his first Legends appearance. World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Faldo of England made his first appearance in the event and teamed with Argentina’s Eduardo Romero to finish T17.