Franco wins Shaw Charity Classic
Earns first PGA TOUR Champions victory after fantastic final-round 63
September 04, 2016
By The Associated Press
- Carlos Franco overtook second-round leader Jeff Maggert and then held off Bernhard Langer for the win. (Courtesy of Shaw Charity Classic)
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Paraguay's Carlos Franco rallied to win the Shaw Charity Classic on Sunday at chilly Canyon Meadows for his first PGA TOUR Champions victory.
Three strokes behind defending champion Jeff Maggert entering the round, the 51-year-old Franco shot his second straight 7-under 63 to beat Bernhard Langer and Michael Allen by two strokes.
"I saw Bernhard Langer, I saw (Tom) Watson, I saw the other guys. I say, 'Oh, my gosh, I have to play good,' " Franco said. "Winning on the PGA TOUR Champions is not easy because everybody is a winner here. Especially, Bernhard Langer. This guy can play so well."
Franco birdied the par-5 18th to finish at 18-under 192. He had three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine, birdied four of the first five on the back nine and made his lone bogey on the par-3 16th. The four-time PGA TOUR winner won in his 25th start on PGA TOUR Champions.
"I'm so happy I finally won my first tournament on the PGA TOUR Champions especially here in Canada," Franco said. "I lost my game for a couple years and it came back again this week."
Langer shot 64. The 59-year-old German star won the Boeing Classic last week for his fourth victory of the year and 29th overall on PGA TOUR Champions.
"I played really good golf today, shot 6 under the last 10 holes and really gave it a go to win the tournament, but Carlos was just too good today," Langer said. "He drove the ball phenomenal and then his putting was exceptional, so it was tough to catch him."
Allen closed 64-63 after opening with a 67. He enjoyed his stay in Alberta.
"It was wonderful. I think this is the premier event on our tour, besides the majors and this is as good as them," Allen said. "The weather turned out great. I've got to go back to Phoenix, going to be 105. I love Calgary."
Maggert shot 74 to tie for sixth at 10 under. He opened with consecutive 63s.
"Putting is really the main thing," Maggert said. "A lot of two-putts today. I think I two-putted every green, just all around the edges."
Watson shot 67 on his 67th birthday to tie for 26th. He had a 65 on Friday.
"Any time you shoot your age, it's kind of fun," Watson said. "Where's the birthday cake? I was looking for a birthday cake here."
John Daly tied for 53rd at 1 under after a 74.
Winner's notes: Carlos Franco (66-63-63—192/-18)
Posted rounds of 63-63 on the weekend for a 54-hole total of 18-under-par 192. It was one shy of the tournament record of 22-under-par 191 by Rocco Mediate in 2013.
His 63-63—126 this weekend was the lowest final two rounds on PGA TOUR Champions this year, surpassing Joe Durant’s weekend total of 127 (17-under-par) at the 3M Championship.
He wins for the first time on PGA TOUR Champions and it comes in his 25th start on Tour. His best previous finish was a T8 at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open earlier this year.
Was a four-time winner on the PGA TOUR -- 1999 COMPAQ Classic of New Orleans, 1999 Greater Milwaukee Open, 2000 COMPAQ Classic of New Orleans, and 2004 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
Wins a PGA TOUR event for the first time since claiming the 2004 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee, a span of 151 events without a win.
Was the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 1999. Is one of two players to have won Rookie of the Year honors and claim a PGA TOUR Champions title, joining Woody Austin.
Earns a two-year exemption into the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
He becomes the sixth first-time winner in 2016, joining Woody Austin, Jesper Parnevik, Scott McCarron, Paul Broadhurst, Gene Sauers.
A native of Paraguay, he represented the country in numerous international events, including the World Cup and the Alfred Dunhill Cups.
A two-time member of the International team in the Presidents Cup.
Tournament notes: Shaw Charity Classic
Carlos Franco recorded 21 birdies which are the most in the four-year history of the event. The previous high was 20 by Bobby Clampett in 2013.
Bernhard Langer’s T2 finish helped him pad his lead in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. Langer has now earned $2,272,659 and leads Miguel Angel Jimenez by $968,297.
With his T2 finish, Bernhard Langer has now finished in the top-10 in 13 of 16 starts this year, including eight in the top three. He is averaging an impressive $142,041 per start with four victories.
Bernhard Langer saw his streak of consecutive holes without a bogey go to 56 straight before he made his lone bogey of his round at No. 8. Including last week’s Boeing Classic, Langer has made just three bogeys in his last 108 holes.
Bernhard Langer was a combined 12-under-par on the back nine for the tournament and his 27 holes included 10 birdies and an eagle.
Michael Allen’s T2 finish was his third top-10 finish in this tournament in four starts. He was T5 in both 2013 and 2015.
Jeff Maggert, the 36-hole leader, closed with a 4-over-par 74 to finish T6.
Willie Wood, who started the week as the third alternate and gained entry when Bobby Wadkins withdrew, took full advantage of his good fortune. He posted rounds of 67-65-64 and finished fourth overall. It was his best finish in an event since he won the 2012 Pacific Links Hawai’i Championship.
Two players who open qualified on Tuesday earned top-10 finishes. Miguel Angel Martin and Jose Coceres each finished T6.
Scott Dunlap was T72 after an opening-round 2-over-par 72, but rebounded with rounds of 65-63 on the weekend to finish T6.
The field averaged 68.899 for the tournament, a slight improvement from last year’s average of 69.198. The most difficult hole was No. 17 with an average score of 4.166 (+.166), while No. 11 was the easiest at 4.315 (-.685). It now ranks as the easiest hole on PGA TOUR Champions for the year. There were 16 eagles and 142 birdies for the event.
Carlos Franco wins in style at Shaw Charity