Round 4 Notebook: Regions Tradition

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June 10, 2012
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour Staff

Weather: Scattered showers throughout the day with highs in the upper-70s and winds from the ESE at 5-15 mph. Lift, clean and place rules in effect for the final round.

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• With rain falling on and off the entire day, Tom Lehman successfully defended his Regions Tradition title, carding a final-round 68 to defeat Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu by two strokes. Lehman became the first player since Gil Morgan in 1997 to shoot four consecutive rounds in the 60s at the Tradition. He enjoyed a two-stroke lead after 54-holes but it quickly vanished after he started slowly on Sunday, making bogey at the 2nd hole. Langer briefly tied him just moments later when he made his third birdie in the first four holes at No. 4. However, Lehman regained the momentum with a birdie on the par-5 3rdhole to take the lead back for good. He added birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 to go up by three strokes at the turn and cruised home, playing the back nine at Shoal Creek in two-under.

Tom Lehman

• Lehman claims his first victory of the 2012 season, becoming the 11thdifferent winner this year, and ends a victory drought of 1 year, one month, two days.

• Lehman claims his sixth career title on the Champions Tour in his 53rd start. He won five titles on the PGA TOUR, including the 1996 British Open Championship, in 481 career appearances.

• Lehman claims his third major championship on the Champions Tour (2010 Senior PGA Championship, 2011 Regions Tradition).

• Lehman defends a title for the first time in his TOUR career and becomes the first player since Gil Morgan (1997-98) to successfully defend a Regions Tradition title.

• Lehman is the first repeat winner in a senior major since Allen Doyle claimed the 2005-2006 U.S. Senior Open. He also becomes the first player since John Cook (2009-2010 Charles Schwab Cup Championship) to successfully defend a title on the Champions Tour.

• Lehman becomes the fourth multiple winner of the Regions Tradition, joining Jack Nicklaus (1990, 1991, 1995, 1996), Gil Morgan (1997, 1998) and Fred Funk (2008, 2009).

• Lehman ends the run of consecutive different major champions on the Champions Tour at eight consecutive. Prior to today, the last time the same player won multiple majors was in 2010 when Bernhard Langer claimed the Senior British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland and then the U.S. Senior Open the following week at Sahalee Country Club near Seattle.

• Lehman, the 2011 Charles Schwab Cup winner, earns 670 Schwab Cup points today and moves into second place in the season-long race with 1,046 total points. Bernhard Langer's runner-up finish earned him 355 Charles Schwab Cup points today and he moved into the lead in the race with 1,116 Schwab Cup points through 11 events. Michael Allen, the Schwab Cup leader coming into this week's Regions Tradition, earned 119 points for a T9 finish and is now in third place in the 2012 Schwab Cup race with 1,042 points.

• Lehman earns a check for $335,000 today and moves up to third on the 2012 money list with $805,507.

Miscellaneous Notes:

• Lehman's score of 14-under 274 was the lowest to win the Regions Tradition since 2008 when Fred Funk triumphed with a 19-under 269 total at Crosswater in Sunriver, Oregon.

Bernhard Langer recorded his ninth top-10 effort in 11 starts this year and his sixth consecutive top 10 performance. He's the only player to finish among the top 10 in both of the senior majors that have been played thus far in 2012. Langer has now finished second twice since his last victory on the Champions Tour (2012 Toshiba Classic) and today was his best performance in a senior major since he won the U.S. Senior Open in 2010 at Sahalee Country Club near Seattle.

• Chien Soon Lu matched his best career performance on the Champions Tour today with his runner-up effort at the Regions Tradition. Lu finished T2 at the 2010 Tradition and was also solo second at the 2011 Montreal Championship.

• The winner has now come from the final grouping in the last 21 consecutive Champions Tour events. The last time it didn't happen was in early July, 2011 when Jeff Sluman rallied to win the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Jeff Sluman was in the third-to-last grouping going into the final round.

Shoal Creek Course Statistics - 2012 vs. 2011:
Stat Category 2012 Cumulative 2011 Cumulative
Stroke Average 72.821 73.056
Most difficult No. 9/par-4--4.278 No. 4/par-4--4.328
Least difficult No. 3/par-5--4.623 No. 3/par-5--4.708
Par/better 143 136
Below par 106 106

Fred Couples' carded a 7-under 65 in the final round, the low score of the tournament. Couples' round today vaulted him up nine spots into solo fourth.

Brad Bryant made the most birdies in the event (23). There were 19 eagles made in the tournament this year compared to 14 eagles last year.

Tom Kite finished T47 in his 300th career start on the Champions Tour this week.

Joey Sindelar withdrew before the start of the final round with a sore back.

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