Round 3 notes: Langer ends victory drought

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August 05, 2012
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

Weather: A beautiful day with plenty of sunshine and high temperatures only reaching the mid-70s. Winds were from the WNW at 10-15 mph.

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• Bernhard Langer shot 10-under 62 and outdueled David Peoples to win for the second time in four years at the 3M Championship. Trailing Peoples by four strokes at the turn, Langer birdied four of the first six holes on the back nine, catching Peoples with a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 15. Langer then seized the lead for good when Peoples made bogey at the par-4 16th. He missed the green with his second shot, pitched 15 feet past the hole and failed to convert on his par effort. Langer then closed out the tournament in style, hitting his second shot on the par-5 finishing hole with a hybrid club to within eight feet of the flag. His two-putt birdie at No. 18, coupled with Peoples' bogey from the sand at the par-3 17th temporarily moved the margin to three shots and ended any further suspense.

• Langer wins the 3M Championship for the second time in four years (2009) and joined Hale Irwin (1997, 1999, 2002) as the only other multiple winner of this Minnesota stop on the Champions Tour. In 2009, Langer shot 16-under 200 and won by one thanks to an eagle on the final hole.

• Langer won for the first time on the Champions Tour in over 17 months (2011 ACE Group Classic) and claimed his 15th career title on the circuit. When he won here last year, it was Jay Haas' 15th career victory on the Champions Tour.

• Langer also ended a victory drought of 24 events since his last win on the Champions Tour. Prior to today, his longest previous drought without a victory was 11 tournaments (2010 Boeing Classic-2011 ACE Group Classic).

• Langer came from six strokes back to win today, the largest final-round comeback in tournament history. The last time a player came from that far back to win on the Champions Tour was when Jeff Sluman rallied from six down on Sunday to win the 2009 Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

• Langer's final-round 62 was one-stroke off the Champions Tour record for lowest Sunday score by a winner. It was the best Sunday round to win since Gary Hallberg won the 2010 Ensure Classic at Rock Barn with an 11-under 61 in the final round.

• Langer became the 15thdifferent winner on the Champions Tour this year and now has claimed at least one Champions Tour event in six straight seasons.

• Langer earned 263 Charles Schwab Cup points and now is in second place with 1,840 points on the season. Tom Lehman still leads the 2012 Schwab Cup race with 1,944 points. Roger Chapman who was idle this week has 1,756 points.

• Langer's check for $262,500 moved him to the top of the 2012 Champions Tour money list with $1,411,336.

• Langer also ran his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes to nine straight and he now has 12 top-10s this year in 14 starts on the Champions Tour. Langer has not been out of the top 10 since he was T17 at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in late March. The all-time Champions Tour record for consecutive top-10 finishes is 36 by Don January from 1980-1984.

• Just like Jay Haas last year, Langer registered one eagle and 18 birdies. It marked the fifth consecutive year that the 3M Championship winner had at least one eagle en route to victory.

• An alternate at the start of the week, David Peoples runner-up effort was the best of his Champions Tour career. By being the highest non-exempt player to record a top 10 this week, Peoples earned a spot in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open in two weeks and his check for $!54,000 increased his 2012 earnings to $206,723 (90th to 43rd).

• With his T3 today, Kenny Perry has now finished among the top-3 in each of his two appearances in the 3M Championship. Last year, Perry finished T2 in the event, one stroke back of Jay Haas. He's a cumulative 30-under par over his six total rounds on the TPC Twin Cities course.

• Olin Browne matched his best finish of the 2012 campaign with a T3 today. He also finished third last month at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. This week, Browne registered 21 birdies, the most by a player in the field.

• In their first events back on the Champions Tour after four-month layoffs, two-time major championship winner Mark O'Meara finished T8 while World Golf Hall of Fame member Nick Price was T39. O'Meara had been out of action since early April with a rib injury while Price was out of action with a left elbow injury.

• In his 11th start on the Champions Tour, Joel Edwards registered his first top-10 finish with a T5 today at the 3M Championship. Edwards' previous-best effort on the circuit was a T12 at the Senior PGA Championship.

• After 49 players broke par in Round 1, 51 players were under par in Round 2 and Round 3. Today's stroke average for the field was 70.272 compared with 70.667 yesterday and 70.765 on Friday. Overall, the cumulative stroke average this year was 70.568 versus 70.332 last year. For the third straight year, the hardest hole in the tournament was the par-4 9th (4.342 in 2012 vs. 4.350 in 2011). The par-5, 18th hole was the easiest for the third straight year. Overall this year there were 17 eagles made and 981 birdies, the most in tournament history, surpassing the 980 birdies made in the 2008 event. It's the fourth most birdies ever recorded in a 54-hole event on the Champions Tour.

• In his 17th consecutive appearance at the 3M Championship, Hale Irwin, a three-time winner of the event in Minnesota, bettered his age for the first time in his career. After matching his age on five other occasions, the 67-year-old Irwin carded a 7-under 65 today. Irwin's round included an eagle at the par-4 9th hole, a first in tournament history at the TPC Twin Cities, and a run of six straight birdies (Nos. 11-16), matching the Champions Tour's best birdie streak this year. Irwin's 65 today was also his best round in a stroke-play event on the Champions Tour since he posted a 65 in Round 1 of the 2010 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

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