Singh wins Toshiba Classic
World Golf Hall of Famer victorious in California for first individual title on PGA TOUR Champions
March 11, 2018
By The Associated Press
- Vijay Singh shot a final-round 5-under 66 for a one-shot victory at Newport Beach Country Club. (Courtesy of Doug Gifford)
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Vijay Singh got up-and-down for birdie with a putter from off the green on the final hole for a one-shot victory in the Toshiba Classic on Sunday.
The 55-year-old World Golf Hall of Fame member edged Tommy Tolles, Tom Pernice Jr. and Scott McCarron to win for the first time as an individual on the PGA TOUR Champions. He teamed with Carlos Franco to win last year's Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge.
Singh has played a limited schedule on PGA TOUR Champions while continuing to compete on the PGA TOUR, where he has 34 career victories.
"I just put a lot of pressure on myself when I first came out here. Every time I teed up, you know, I was -- I thought I had to win. The more I did that, the more I didn't win, the harder it got," Singh said. "This week was a little different. Last week I was sick with cold and flu, and this week kind of started out that way, so my expectation wasn't very high. I just came out here, I said, 'I'm just going to go out and play.' "
The Fijian closed with a 5-under 66 for a three-day total of 11-under 202 at Newport Beach Country Club.
"I always knew I was going to win out here, it was just a matter of time," Singh said. "I was going to play a lot more this year anyway, so this is a good start and hopefully I'm going to win a few more."
He got his stiffest challenge from Tolles, who was bogey-free before he three-putted the tough par-3 17th. Singh also bogeyed 17 to fall even with Tolles, whose chip from short of the green on the par-5 18th rolled 6 feet past. Tolles missed the birdie putt, opening the door for Singh playing behind him.
Tolles, winless in 233 career PGA TOUR starts, earned full status on PGA TOUR Champions at Q-School at the end of 2017. His best previous finish was a tie for 9th last week.
"Obviously I never won on the PGA TOUR, so this is kind of like -- you've heard that adage about same movie, same script, same ending? I have a little bit of that feeling, which is not a good feeling to have," said Tolles, who closed with a 65.
"So I don't know how many times you have to get in the competition or whatever before you can actually pull it out. Time's limited, you've got to make the most of it. You know, I don't know what to do. Right now I'm just really disappointed because things could have been so much easier, just two little 6-footers on 17 and 18 there and my whole world changes. But I guess that's golf."
Pernice and McCarron both needed eagle on 18 to match Singh and closed with birdies.
Vijay Singh wins Toshiba Classic by one shot
Vijay Singh, 68-68-66 – 202 (-11)
• On the par-5 18th tee, Singh was tied with Tommy Tolles, who was in the clubhouse at 10-under. Singh was pin high in two shots, and two putts from the fringe gave him a birdie and an 11-under total.
• Playing in the group behind Singh, Scott McCarron and Tom Pernice Jr. were 9-under and needed to eagle No. 18 to force a playoff. Singh clinched the victory when both McCarron and Pernice settled for birdies.
• The win is Singh’s second on PGA TOUR Champions, and it’s his first individual title. Last year, he partnered with Carlos Franco to win the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge.
• Singh's last individual victory came at the Dell Technologies Championship on September 1, 2008 (a span of 9 years, 6 months, 10 days). He made 237 individual starts (210 PGA TOUR, 25 PGA TOUR Champions, 2 European Tour) between those victories.
• Singh becomes the first FedExCup champion (2008) to win on PGA TOUR Champions.
• He has top-10 finishes in five of his last seven tournaments, which includes a T2 finish at last year’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship. It is his second top-10 this season and he is now No. 5 in the Charles Schwab Cup with $326,630.
Tommy Tolles, 67-71-65 – 203 (-10)
• After making birdie on No. 9, Tolles posted a 5-under 30 on the front nine and took a one-shot lead at 9-under. He regained a one-shot lead when he birdied Nos. 14 and 15, but Tolles fell one shot behind when he three-putted for bogey on the 196-yard par-3 17th. He posted a 10-under total when he missed a five-footer for birdie on No. 18.
• The T2 finish is his best in nine starts on PGA TOUR Champions. Last week, Tolles was the 18- and 36-hole leader at the Cologuard Classic, but finished T9 after shooting 75 in the final round.
• Tolles earned full status this season when he finished runner-up at PGA TOUR Champions Q-School in December. In five starts on PGA TOUR Champions last year, he made $51,180.
• Tolles’ payday of $132,000 is his biggest since he finished T4 at the 2001 Texas Open and won $132,000. He is now 12th in the Charles Schwab Cup with $195,924.
• He won twice on the Web.com Tour, the last coming at the NIKE Alabama Classic on May 1, 1994 (23 years, 10 months, 10 days ago). Since then, he has made 362 pro starts (120 Web.com Tour, 233 PGA TOUR, 9 PGA TOUR Champions).
Scott McCarron, 67-68-68 – 203 (-10)
• McCarron was tied for the lead at 10-under after making birdie on Nos. 15 and 16. After he three-putted for bogey on No. 17, he was two shots behind Vijay Singh, who was in the clubhouse at 11-under. Needing an eagle to force a playoff, he made birdie on No. 18 to finish with a final-round 68 and tied for second.
• He led the field with 17 birdies this week and he was fifth in putting average (1.667 putts per GIR).
• It was his third top-10 in three starts at the Toshiba Classic, and it was his third top-10 of the season. He improved to No. 6 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
• Tom Pernice Jr. led after 18 and 36 holes, but he fell off the pace after shooting 1-over 36 on the front nine. He shot a bogey-free 33 on his inward nine, but was ultimately one shot short of Singh’s winning total. The tie for second was his best finish since winning the 2016 PowerShares QQQ Championship, and he moved to No. 11 in the Charles Schwab Cup.
• David Toms carded a final-round 67 and finished fifth at 8-under. He has four top-fives in five starts this season, and six in his last seven starts. He remains second in the Charles Schwab Cup.
• Rocco Mediate carded a final-round 67 and finished T6 at 7-under. It was his fourth consecutive top-10, which matches the longest streak of his PGA TOUR Champions career. He had top-10s in his first four starts in 2013, which included a win in his debut at the Boca Raton Championship.
• Steve Jones, an eight-time PGA TOUR winner and the 1996 U.S. Open champion, finished T6 at 7-under in his first start on PGA TOUR Champions since the 2015 Toshiba Classic.
• At age 68, Tom Watson shot 68, marking the eighth time he has shot or bettered his age on PGA TOUR Champions. It is the second time he has done so this season, as he opened with a 68 at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.
• Four-time Charles Schwab Cup winner Bernhard Langer finished 58th at 3-over. It was the worst finish in 214 starts on PGA TOUR Champions, and it comes on the heels of a T54 finish at last week’s Cologuard Classic, which was his worst finish before this week. He is 13th in the Charles Schwab Cup.
• Jerry Kelly withdrew Sunday morning due to a family illness. He remains No. 1 in the Charles Schwab Cup, $17,710 ahead of Toms.