Round 3 Notebook: Ensure Classic at Rock Barn

October 03, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

Weather: A mix of sun and clouds with highs in the upper 60s. Winds were from the NNE at 5-10 mph.

• Final Leaderboard: 1 -- Gary Hallberg (198/-18); 2 -- Fred Couples (199/-17); 3 -- Bernhard Langer (200/-16); 4-- Bob Tway (201/-15; 5 --Morris Hatalsky (202/-14); 6 -- Nick Price (203/-13); T7 -- Chip Beck & Tommy Armour III (205/-11).


Gary Hallberg tied the Champions Tour record for lowest final-round by a tournament winner with an 11-under-par 61, which gave him a one-stroke victory over Fred Couples. Playing three groups in front of the final group, which included Couples and Bernhard Langer, Hallberg sank a six-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to post his 61 and the lead. He then waited as his challengers finished. Couples birdied 14, 15 and 16 to move to 17-under, but missed birdie opportunities at Nos. 17 and 18. He had a chance to force a playoff but missed an eight-footer for birdie at No. 18. Langer was unable to make birdie on his final six holes to finish two back. The win was especially satisfying for Hallberg, who attended Wake Forest in nearby Winston-Salem.

• With his win, Gary Hallberg earns a career-best check for $262,500 as well as 263 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race. He also earns a berth at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for two years as well as a one-year exemption on the Champions Tour thru Oct. 3, 2011. He moved from 63rd to 36th on the 2010 money list.

• Hallberg becomes the seventh first-time winner this year and third in the last four events and wins for the first time since the 2002 Northeast Pennsylvania Classic on Nationwide Tour, a span of 8 years, 4 months, 1 day. His last PGA TOUR win came at the 1992 Buick Southern Open, a span of 18 years and 364 days. That win came on Oct. 4.

• Hallberg's 11-under-par 61 ties the record for lowest final round posted by a winner on the Champions Tour. It was set by Rocky Thompson (10-under/1994 GTE Suncoast Classic) and later matched by Loren Roberts (11-under/2006 MasterCard Championship at Hualalai.

• Hallberg's 61 was his career-low round with his previous best a 63 on the PGA TOUR which he did five times.

Bernhard Langer remained in the leader in the Charles Schwab Cup race with 3,014 points and leads Fred Couples by 644 points. Fred Funk is third with 1,555 points. Tom Lehman and John Cook round out the top five with 1,420 and 1,391 points, respectively.

Bob Tway made his second hole-in-one of the 2010 season when he aced No. 9 with a 6-iron from 186 yards. Tway had one earlier this year at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. It was only the third in tournament history. Gil Morgan had the first at No. 9 in 2005 and Mark McNulty made one at No. 17 in 2008. Those two occurred in the final round as well.

• Tway's 10-under-par 62 was overshadowed on Sunday by Gary Hallberg's 61, but it was his lowest round on the Champions Tour and one shy of his career low on the PGA TOUR which he posted two times, most recently at the 2003 Valero Texas Open.

• Morris Hatalsky posted his best finish on the Champions Tour since 2007 with his fifth-place effort. He was T3 at the 2007 Allianz Championship.

• Tommy Armour III went over the $1 million mark in season earnings thanks to his T7 finish. He has earned $1,042,577 and is currently seventh on the money list.

• Hole No. 11 was the most difficult with an average score of 4.256 (+.256), while No. 18 was the easiest at 4.446 (-.554). There were six eagles and 120 birdies on No. 18 and just 36 bogeys for the event.

Joe Ozaki remained in the coveted 30thspot on the 2010 money list with three full-field events remaining prior to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the top 30 money winners. Ozaki has earned $506,834 and leads Bob Tway (31st) by just over $11,000.

Fred Couples led all players with 23 birdie as well as in putts-per-round with 26.0.

• Rookie Tom Byrum finished T29 in his Champions Tour debut.