Sutherland wins Schwab Cup, season finale
Earns first win on PGA TOUR Champions at season-ending event at historic Phoenix Country Club
By The Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) -- Kevin Sutherland finally broke through on PGA TOUR Champions, taking the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship -- and topping the yearlong competition, too, to earn the Schwab Cup.
Sutherland closed with a 5-under 66 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Vijay Singh and Lee Janzen at Phoenix Country Club, the tree-lined course hosting its first PGA TOUR-sanctioned event since the Waste Management Phoenix Open left for TPC Scottsdale in 1988.
"I don't even know. It's like a whirlwind thing. It's amazing," Sutherland said. "I mean, the names on this trophy are incredible. I've seen it, and to be on that list is just, I can't even put words to it, it's just amazing."
Bernhard Langer, the winner of the first two Schwab Cup Playoffs events, had a 64 to tie for 12th -- five strokes back. Langer slipped to second in the points standings, missing a chance to win the Schwab Cup for the fourth straight year and fifth overall.
"It was meant to be playoffs," Langer said. "Everybody in the field was given a chance to win."
The 53-year-old Sutherland won for the first time in 78 starts on PGA TOUR Champions. He entered the week fifth in the Charles Schwab Cup season points standings, the last spot in which the player had to only win the tournament to take the $1 million annuity. He also earned $440,000 for the tournament victory.
The only player to shoot 59 in PGA TOUR Champions history, Sutherland had 15 top-10 finishes this season, finishing second three times and third twice. His lone PGA TOUR victory came in 2002 at what is now the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. He beat longtime friend and current PGA TOUR Champions star Scott McCarron at that event.
"I played really well all year and I just couldn't find a way to get a win. So, to win this tournament, it's unbelievable. I'm sure in a couple days it will sink in a little bit, but right now it just seems like I'm not even sure it really happened, I keep pinching myself. It feels good and it's been a long time since I won a tournament."
Sutherland finished at 15-under 198. He had a bogey-free round, opening with a birdie on the par-5 first, eagling the par-5 seventh and adding birdies on the par-4 ninth and 16th.
Singh shot a 63. He opened with an eagle and birdied the last two.
John Daly (65), David Frost (67), David Toms (67) and Lee Janzen (67) tied for third at 13 under.
"I love old, traditional golf courses," Daly said. "I know this is one if you hit the fairways, you know you can score well on, and if you don't, you're not."
Sutherland had a 63 on Friday to move within two strokes of leader Paul Goydos, the tournament winner last year at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale. Goydos closed with a 72 to tie for ninth at 9 under.
"I know Paul didn't have the best day today," Sutherland said. "Paul's a good friend of mine, but it allowed me to kind of sneak in there and win.
"He's my biggest supporter," Sutherland said with a laugh. "He's constantly telling everybody about how well I'm playing. I'm like, 'Paul, I don't need a publicist.'"
Langer led PGA TOUR Champions with seven victories, winning three of the five majors, and set an earnings record with $3,677,359. The 60-year-old German has never won the season-ending event.
"I have to pinch myself," Langer said. "Just got to be really grateful and thankful."
Kevin Sutherland, 69-63-66 – 198 (-15)
Charles Schwab Cup Standings – Start: 5th / Finish: 1st
• Sutherland becomes just the third player to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and the Charles Schwab Cup in the same season, joining Tom Watson (2005) and Tom Lehman (2012).
• Sutherland made 341 starts (263 PGA TOUR, 1 Web.com Tour, 77 PGA TOUR Champions) since his last professional win at the 2002 WGC-Dell Match Play (15 years, 8 months, 19 days).
• He finished the season with 15 top-10s, bringing his career total to 38 in 78 starts on PGA TOUR Champions.
• Sutherland finished the season with $1,961,732, the second-highest total of his professional career. In 2008, he made $2,581,311 when he had six top-10s and two runner-up finishes and finished 11th in the FedExCup.
• He played his last 46 holes bogey-free.
Bernhard Langer, 71-68-64 – 203 (-7)
Charles Schwab Cup Standings – Start: 1st / Finish: 2nd
• Langer began the day T22 and nine shots behind the 36-hole leaders. He was 7-under through 11 holes and was in the top-10. However, he was even-par on the last seven holes and finished with a 64 and posted a 10-under total with 22 players still on the course.
• He finished T12, just the third time he’s finished outside the top 10 in 10 starts at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. The season finale is one of just eight out of this year’s 26-event schedule that Langer has not won.
• Winner of the previous three Charles Schwab Cups, Langer finished second in the final standings. This is the sixth straight year he finished first or second in the standings (1st – 2016, 2015, 2014; 2nd – 2013, 2012).
• He finishes the season with a PGA TOUR Champions record $3,677,359 in winnings. He won the Tour money title for the sixth straight season, and it is his third $3 million season.
• His seven wins this year is a personal best, and his 36 career wins is second in Tour history (Hale Irwin, 45).
Vijay Singh, 64-72-63 – 199 (-14)
Charles Schwab Cup Standings – Start: 9th / Finish: 5th
• Singh was a first-round co-leader but fell off the pace with a second-round 72. He closed with birdies on four of his last six holes en route to a final-round 63, the day’s second-lowest round. He posted a 14-under total with 12 players remaining on the golf course.
• His tie for second was his third runner-up finish of the season, and third top-three in his last four starts. He finished T3 at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, and he and Langer were the only two players with top-three finishes in two playoff events this year.
• He played 12 tournaments this season, which matches the total number he played from 2013-2016. He earned $1,337,635 and finished fifth in the final standings, which gives him a $100,000 bonus.
Lee Janzen, 64-67-68 – 199 (-14)
Charles Schwab Cup Standings – Start: 23rd / Finish:8th
• Janzen started the day T2 and shot 4-under 32 on the front nine. He was 15-under until he bogeyed Nos. 13 and 16. He birdied the last hole to shoot 68 and finish T2 at 14-under.
• The runner-up finish was his second of the season. He finished with five top-10s and $1,032,574 in winnings.
• Defending champion Paul Goydos led by one through two rounds. He carded a final-round 72 and finished T9 at 11-under.
• John Daly birdied four of his last six holes and shot 65 en route to a T4 finish. He was forced to withdraw from the first two Charles Schwab Cup Playoff events due to injury, but finished the season 14th in the final Charles Schwab Cup standings.
• David Frost posted his fourth top-10 in this event, finishing T4 at 13-under. It was his fifth top-10 of the season and he finished 15th in the standings.
• David Toms posted his seventh top-10 of his rookie season, finishing T4 at 13-under. He posted playoff finishes of T18-3rd-T4 and improved from 29th to 11th in the standings.
• Fred Couples carded the day’s best round, a 9-under 62, one off the competitive course record. It was the fifth time he shot 62 on PGA TOUR Champions, and it was one shot off his career-low round of 61 (2014 Shaw Charity Classic). He improved from T30 through two rounds and finished T12.
• Wes Short Jr. closed with a 7-under 64 and finished T9. He claimed the final spot in the field after a T22 finish at the PowerShares QQQ Championship, which moved him from 40th to 36th on the points list.
• Sunday’s scoring average was 67.167 (-3.833), which ranks as the second-lowest in relation to par this season. The lowest was 67.883 (-4.117) during the second round of the 3M Championship.