Toshiba Classic: Final-Round Notebook

March 09, 2008
Dave Senko, PGA TOUR Staff

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- With his win, Bernhard Langer claims his second Champions Tour crown in just his ninth start on the Tour. His other victory came at the Administaff Small Business Classic near Houston last year in his fourth start.

Inside the Numbers
Final Leaderboard
Player Score
T1. *Bernhard Langer 199 -14
T1. Jay Haas 199 -14
T3. Scott Simpson 202 -11
T3. Ben Crenshaw 202 -11
T3. Gary McCord 202 -11
T6. Curtis Strange 203 -10
T6. Tim Simpson 203 -10
T8. Leonard Thompson 204 -9
T8. Lonnie Nielsen 204 -9
T8. Craig Stadler 204 -9
T8. D.A. Weibring 204 -9
T8. Keith Fergus 204 -9
* = won in sudden death.

• Langer earns a check for $255,000 and moves into second place on the 2008 Champions Tour money list with $423,227. Scott Hoch leads with $522,519.

• Langer became the first 36-hole leader on the Champions Tour this year to win an event. All four previous leaders/co-leaders have failed to hold on.

• Langer claimed a total of 255 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race and jumps into second place behind Scott Hoch (488 points) with 414 points. Runner-up Jay Haas is now third (327) followed by Fred Funk (300) and Brad Bryant (299).

• Sunday's seven-hole playoff was the fourth in the 14-year history of the Toshiba Classic and the third longest in tournament history. Two of the previous ones remain two of the longest in Champions Tour history. In 1997, Bob Murphy needed nine extra holes to defeat Jay Sigel. Murphy drained an 80-foot putt in near darkness for the win. Four years later, Jose Maria Canizares needed nine holes to best Gil Morgan.

• Both are tied for second on the all-time list behind the David Graham/Dave Stockton 10-hole playoff at the 1998 Royal Caribbean Classic. The other Toshiba Classic playoff came in 1999 when Gary McCord went five extra holes to defeat John Jacobs for the title after Al Geiberger and Allen Doyle had been eliminated earlier in the extra session.

• Runner-up Jay Haas suffered his first playoff defeat in his PGA TOUR/Champions Tour career on Sunday. Haas had been 2-0 on the Champions Tour and 3-0 on the PGA TOUR before he lost on Sunday to Langer.

Gary Player beat his age for the second time this year (he also did so in the second round of the ACE Group Classic last month) when he shot an even-par 71. The 72-year-old Player has now bettered his age nine times in his career as well as matching it 11 times.

• Following Sunday's finish, Player, who is the most-traveled athlete in history with more than 14 million air miles to his credit, departed later in the evening for a three-day visit to a golf course he is designing in China. Following his brief visit there, Player will move on to course work in India and Morocco before returning home to Florida and then South Africa.

Scott Hoch's bid to become the first player in two years to win three straight tournaments ended when he shot a closing-round 4-under-par 67 to finish tied for 21st.

Ben Crenshaw turned in his second consecutive top-5 effort in this event, finishing in a tie for third for the second straight year.

Sandy Lyle tied for 54th in his Champions Tour debut.

Gary McCord made the most of his first start in 2008. The 1999 champion, McCord tied forthird, his highest finish in an event since he was second at the 2004 SBC Championship.

• The field averaged 70.017 on the Newport Beach CC layout. A year ago the scoring average was 69.722. The most difficult hole was No. 17 (3.279 /+.279) and there were only 13 birdies during the event. The easiest was No. 15 (4.511/-.489). The hole yielded nine eagles and 111 birdies.

Lonnie Nielsen birdied seven of the nine par-5 holes and also made an eagle on one during the tournament. He was a combined 9 under par on the par 5s and it was instrumental in his tie for eighth finish.

Curtis Strange finished atop the birdie leaderboard with 19 and finished tied for sixth, his best effort since he tied for second at the 2006 Constellation Energy Classic.

Boonchu Ruangkit, who has open qualified in all four events he was eligible to compete this year, finished tied for 13th.

Scott Simpson and Leonard Thompson recorded the day's low rounds, 6-under-par 65s. Simpson finished tied for third and Thompson tied for eighth. Tim Simpson, Friday's first-round leader after a 63, tied for sixth.