Calcavecchia wins Boca Raton Championship
Wire-to-wire victory is former major champion's first win on PGA TOUR Champions since 2015
February 11, 2018
By The Associated Press
- Mark Calcavecchia hung on Sunday for a 2-shot win over Bernhard Langer. (Courtesy of Boca Raton Championship)
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- Mark Calcavecchia took advantage of Bernhard Langer's messy finish Sunday to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the Boca Raton Championship.
Calcavecchia had a 20-foot bogey save on the par-3 16th and parred the final two holes for a 2-under 70 and a two-stroke victory over Langer on The Old Course at Broken Sound.
"It sets up the whole year for me," Calcavecchia said. "It really does."
The 57-year-old Calcavecchia won his fourth PGA TOUR Champions title and first since 2015.
"I just didn't think it would happen again," said Calcavecchia, The Open Championship winner in 1989 and 13-time PGA TOUR winner. "These guys are so good out here. The level of play is just insane, including Mr. Langer, obviously. It's so hard, I can't tell you. I think I made enough putts, and sometimes the good Lord pencils you in and this week was meant to be."
Langer bogeyed the final two holes for a 70. Tied for the lead after Calcavecchia's bogey on 16, Langer fell back on the par-4 17th when he left a 4-foot par putt to the right.
"I played very well all day really until that second shot on 17," Langer said. "The bunker shot was pretty good, and then just made a bad stroke. Been putting very poorly all week really. I haven't made anything over 15 feet all week."
On the par-5 18th, the German star drove to the right into pine straw and wood chips and found two bunkers before reaching the green.
"I knew I had to make most likely an eagle or birdie to have any chance," Langer said. "Thought I hit a good tee shot, but it took a vicious kick right and ended up in a horrible lie. I couldn't move some of the whatever this stuff is here. Ended up 50 yards short in the bunker, which is the worst, the hardest shot in golf. From there on it just went downhill. It's just a sad finish to a really great week of golf."
Calcavecchia finished at 16-under 200. He opened with a 64 for a one-stroke lead and birdied the final three Saturday in a 66 that left him two shots clear of Langer. Calcavecchia maintained a share of the lead with the long par putt on 16.
"I played it a cup outside right and I knew I hit it where I wanted to," Calcavecchia said. "When it was about halfway to the hole, I knew it was on a great line and it just went right in the middle."
The 60-year-old Langer won his home event in 2010. He won seven times last season, three of the victories in majors.
"I didn't expect Bernhard to miss that putt on 17," Calcavecchia said. "Every once in a while, very rarely, he gets a little quick with the backstroke and he did it that time. I saw the backstroke and I went, 'Oh, he hit a bad putt.' "
Fred Funk was third at 13 under after a 67. David Toms had a 67 to reach 12 under.
Mark Calcavecchia gets to 16-under to win Boca Raton Championship
Mark Calcavecchia, 64-66-70 –200 (-16)
• Starting the day with three straight birdies and another on the par-4 seventh, Calcavecchia was able to pull ahead by four entering the back nine. Langer birdied No. 10 and No.12 to get within two. Calcavecchia bogeyed Nos. 14 and No. 16, leaving Langer with a brief share of the lead. Calcavecchia finished with back-to-back pars to finish at 16-under.
• Calcavecchia joins Michael Allen (2014) as the second player to go wire-to-wire in the tournament’s 11-year history.Prior to today, the last wire-to-wire victory on PGA TOUR Champions was by Paul Goydos at the 2016 Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
• It’s the first time Calcavecchia has gone wire-to-wire to win on either the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions.
• His two-stroke victory ties Mark James (2007) and Rocco Mediate (2013) as the largest margin in the tournament’s history.
• It was his seventh start at the Boca Raton Championship, with his best finish previously being T7 in 2012.
• Calcavecchia now owns four PGA TOUR Champions titles. Before today, his most victory was at the 2015 Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa. He won 13 times on the PGA TOUR including the 1989 Open Championship.
• He finished 36th in the first official event of the season, the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Hawaii.
• Calcavecchia lives in nearby Tequesta, Florida. It was his first win with wife, Brenda, caddying.
• With the win, Calcavecchia picks up $240,000 and moves to second place on the Charles Schwab Cup money list behind Jerry Kelly. Last year he finished 66th in the standings.
Bernhard Langer, 66-66-70 – 202 (-14)
• With his runner-up finish this week, he now has 150 career top-10 finishes. Only eight players have more than 150 in PGA TOUR Champions history. Hale Irwin holds the record (210).
• By shooting a two-under-par 70 on Sunday, Langer extended his streak to 33 consecutive rounds par or better. The streak began with the first round of last year’s 3M Championship.He is three rounds away from tying his personal best of 36 in a row (2016-17).
• It was Langer’s 11th start in his hometown event.His tournament record now includes one win (2010), two runner-ups (2013), seven top-10s and total earnings of $931,385.
• With his runner up finish, Langer earned a check for $140,800 and moves to fifth in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
• Last year, Langer led the Charles Schwab Cup 23 of the first 25 weeks of the 2017 season, but he tied for 12th in the season finale and finished second in the final standings. Though he was unable to win his fourth straight Charles Schwab Cup, it was his sixth consecutive top-two finish in the season-long competition and he was named PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year for the seventh time.
• In 2017, he became the second player to win three senior majors in one year, he became the Tour’s all-time leader in major wins (10), he broke the single-season money record ($3,677,359), and he won his sixth straight money title.
• With his 12-under-par fourth-place finish, David Toms has now recorded four consecutive top-fives dating back to 2017. He closed his rookie season with a third and a T4 en route to an 11th-place finish in the Charles Schwab Cup, and he started this season with a third-place finish at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
• Russ Cochran’s 7-under-par 65 on Sunday was his best round since last year’s final round at The Old Course at Broken Sound. His fifth-place finish was his best since the 2015 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.
• This year’s scoring average was 71.503 compared to last year’s 69.797, which was the lowest in tournament history. This year, the 18th was the easiest and played to a 4.351 average, giving up nine eagles and 142 birdies on the week.The most difficult hole was the par-3 16th which averaged 3.307 this week.
• Nine of the tournament’s past champions were in this year’s field, with Langer leading the pack of finishers followed by Mediate’s 10-under-par sixth place finish. Defending champion Scott McCarron finished T24.
• In his first start as a PGA TOUR Champions member and his first start as a pro since 2003, Ken Tanigawa recorded a T10 finish and earned a check of $33,371. In December, Tanigawa became the first amateur to finish in the top-five at Q-School since Jim Roy in 2009.
• Reigning Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland finished T19.