Langer wins Dominion Energy Charity Classic
Claims first Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs event with eagle on final hole to win by one shot
October 22, 2017
By The Associated Press
- Bernhard Langer won his sixth event of the season and leads the Charles Schwab Cup points race. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
RELATED: Click here for the updated Charles Schwab Cup points standings
Bernhard Langer didn't find his putting stroke until it mattered most.
The 60-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer made an 18-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole Sunday to shoot a 2-under 70 and win the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three events which make up the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. He beat Scott Verplank by one shot.
Langer was even par for the day before getting to the easiest hole on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.
"I was missing so many putts today and finally I made one," Langer said after his sixth victory of the season and 35th on PGA TOUR Champions. "The confidence wasn't that high, to tell you the truth. I had a very similar putt just on 17 that about 7 or 8 inches left to right and I made a really good stroke but I left it an inch short, or two inches. I was going to make sure I got this one to the hole."
The victory clinched the top seed in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Phoenix Country Club in three weeks. Before that, however, is the PowerShares QQQ Championship at Sherwood in Thousand Oaks, California.
For Langer, the eagle putt to win was a career first.
"I think it's only happened one other time in my career when I holed a bunker shot for eagle" on the final hole to win, he said.
The final putt broke from left to right, and Langer said he aimed about 8 inches left of the hole, but didn't know it was in until it dropped.
"You never know until it goes in," he said. "It's just as simple as that because it wasn't a straight putt."
Verplank, playing two groups ahead of Langer, shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to erase a five-shot deficit, but missed birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes. The putt on 17 was from about 30 feet and was online but stopped about an inch short. On 18, his effort from about 5 feet slid by the hole.
"I had a chance to be better than I was so I've got no one to blame but myself," Verplank said. "I just hit kind of a bad putt."
Langer's six victories are a career high, and his 35 victories are second on PGA TOUR Champions, trailing only Hale Irwin's 45.
"He obviously plays with supreme confidence and he's won so many times," Verplank said. "He's a great champion."
Billy Mayfair (65), Kenny Perry (65) and Vijay Singh (71) tied for third at 12 under. Singh made three birdies on his first six holes to briefly grab a share of the lead at 14 under, but he gave all three back with a trio of bogeys and didn't make another birdie until the finishing hole.
Langer became the second player on PGA TOUR Champions to make eagle on the final hole to win by a shot this season. Scott McCarron, who won the Dominion Energy Charity Classic last year, did it at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Florida, leap-frogging Carlos Franco and Kenny Perry.
The Playoffs field was cut from 72 to 54 for the PowerShares QQQ Championship. The top 36 will advance to Phoenix.
David McKenzie and Fran Quinn began outside the 54 but played well enough to get inside the number and will advance to the second event of the Playoffs.
Bernhard Langer, 67-63-70 – 200 (-16)
Charles Schwab Cup Standings – Start: 1st / Current: 1st
• Langer birdied No. 1 and led by four, his largest lead of the day. After being caught by Scott Verplank, Langer reclaimed a solo one-shot lead after making birdie on No. 13 to get to 15-under. He bogeyed No. 14 and parred Nos. 15-17, leaving him one behind with one hole to play.
• On No. 18, he hit his 245-yard approach shot with a 3-wood, setting up his winning 18-foot eagle putt.
• The win is Langer’s sixth of the season, a new personal best. The last player to win six times in a season was Larry Nelson in 2000.
• It is Langer’s 35th career victory. He remains second on the Tour’s all-time wins list, with Hale Irwin (45) the only player ahead of him.
• He is now 22 for 36 in converting Saturday-night leads into victories. This year, he is 4 for 5.
• The winner of the last three Charles Schwab Cups, he has six wins and 11 top-three finishes in 20 starts this year. With his first-place paycheck of $305,000, he broke the single-season winnings record ($3,317,359). In all, this is his third $3 million season.
• This is his first win at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. He now has at least one win at 17 of the 26 tournaments on this year’s schedule.
• With 3,622,359 points, he has clinched the No. 1 seed for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, regardless of the result of PowerSharess QQQ Championship.
Scott Verplank, 69-66-66 – 201 (-15)
Charles Schwab Cup Standings – Start: 30th / Current: 15th
• Playing two groups ahead of Langer, Verplank started the day five shots behind Langer. His bogey-free 66 included birdies on Nos. 4, 6, 9, 10, 13 and 16.
• Verplank birdied No. 13 to take a share of the lead at 14-under. He took his first solo lead of the day when he birdied No. 16 and Langer bogeyed No. 14. That lead held up until Langer eagled No. 18.
• He made just one bogey over his last 50 holes.
• This is his sixth top-10 of the season and second runner-up finish. He finished second to Fred Couples at the American Family Insurance Championship.
Schwab Cup Update
After this week, the top 54 players in the Schwab Cup standings advance to the PowerShares QQQ Championship.
• Fran Quinn played his last 12 holes in 6-under, including an eagle on the 18th, to post a final-round 66 and a 10-under total. The T8 finish helped him improve from 59th to 53rd in the Schwab Cup standings.
• Last December at PGA TOUR Champions Q-School, Quinn birdied the last hole of regulation to earn a spot in a 3-for-2 playoff for the last two fully-exempt statuses. He birdied the first extra hole and was the fourth of five players to earn their cards for 2017.
• David McKenzie finished T18 at 8-under and improved to 54th in the Schwab Cup standings. Since turning 50 on July 26, he has three top-10s in six starts. He is the youngest player in the playoffs (50 years, 2 months, 26 days), and his five regular-season starts were the fewest among the 72 playoff qualifiers.
• Phillip Price finished 55th in the standings, just 4,356 points behind McKenzie
• This was the second time this season a player eagled the 54th hole to win by one. Scott McCarron also won in this fashion at the Allianz Championship.
• The par-5 18th hole was the easiest hole on Sunday (4.478 average), and four players made eagle: Bernhard Langer, Billy Mayfair, Fran Quinn and Woody Austin.
• Vijay Singh trailed Langer by three at the start of the final round. He birdied Nos. 3, 5 and 6 to cut Langer's lead to one, but his deficit grew to four shots after he played Nos. 7-13 in 3-over. He went on to shoot 71 on Sunday and finished T3. He remained No. 10 in the Schwab Cup standings.
• Defending champion Scott McCarron carded a final-round 66 and finished T8 at 10-under, his 12th top-10 finish of the season. With 2,540,495 points, he has clinched the No. 2 seed for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, regardless of the result of next week’s PowerShares QQQ Championship.
• With a bogey on No. 7 Sunday, David Toms’ streak ended at 84 consecutive holes without a bogey. He carded a final-round 72 and finished T18, and he is 30th in the Schwab Cup standings.
• Kenny Perry recorded his best final round of the season, shooting a 7-under 65 to finish T3 at 12-under. It is his ninth top-10 of the season and he remains third in the Schwab Cup standings.
• Billy Mayfair finished T3 at 12-under after carding a 65, his best final round of the season. It is his sixth top-10 of the season and he moved from 16th to 11th in the Schwab Cup standings.
• Kevin Sutherland and Miguel Angel Jimenez finished T47 at 3-under. Sutherland remains No. 4 and Jimenez remains No. 6 in the Schwab Cup.