Round 3 Notebook: Principal Charity Classic

June 05, 2011
Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour Staff

Weather: Partly cloudy with high temperatures in the mid-80s and only a slight breeze from the NE at 5-10 mph.

Bob Gilder's downhill 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole, coupled with Mark Brooks' three-putt bogey from 25 feet gave the 2011 Principal Charity Classic an improbable winner.

Brooks led from the opening round until the last hole. He clung to a one-stroke lead after salvaging a bogey with an eight-foot putt after hitting his second shot on the par-4 17th into the water. Brooks appeared to be in control after hitting his second shot on the green and appeared to need only a two-putt to win.

Gilder then holed his dramatic putt to temporarily tie Brooks at 14-under. Brooks then ran his birdie putt five feet past the hole and missed his comeback effort for par handing the event to Gilder. Gilder trailed Brooks by four strokes heading to the 15th tee but inched to within two strokes after making birdies at both the 15th and 16th holes.

Prior to today, Gilder's best finish in a stroke-play event on the 2011 Champions Tour was a T56 at both the Toshiba Classic and Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic.

Final Leaderboard: 1) Bob Gilder/199 (-14); 2) Mark Brooks/200 (-13); T3) Mike Goodes/201 (-12), Rod Spittle/201 (-12); 5) Mark Calcavecchia/202 (-11)

• With his win today, Gilder joined Jay Haas as the second multiple winner of the Principal Charity Classic. He also won at Glen Oaks in 2002.

• Gilder's victory today was also his 10th career title on the Champions Tour and his first win in 118 appearances. He ended a victory drought of 4 years, 8 months, 13 days (2006 Constellation Energy Classic).

• Gilder became the eighth different winner on the Champions Tour this year. At 60 years, 6 months, 5 days, he also became the oldest winner of the Principal Charity Classic. It was just the 20th time in 943 official events on the Champions Tour that a player over 60 has won.

• Gilder's victory today, coupled with 61-year-old Tom Watson's victory last week at the Senior PGA Championship, marks the first time in Champions Tour history that players over 60 have won back-to-back events.

• Gilder earned his first Charles Schwab Cup points of the season with 259 this week. After 10 events this year Tom Lehman continues to lead the Schwab Cup race. He increased his lead by earning 62 points for a T6 this week. Lehman now has 1,494 points and enjoys a 644-point lead over Watson. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Schwab Cup points will get a $1 million payout.

• Gilder also earned a return trip to the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii for the next two years. He was last there in 2008.

• Gilder only made one bogey in the tournament and played his last 44 holes without a blemish on his scorecard. It's the fewest bogeys in the Principal Charity Classic by a winner. Jay Haas made only two bogeys when he won in 2008.

• Gilder came from two strokes back to win, tying the tournament's all-time record for largest come-from-behind win. Gilder also came from two strokes back in 2002 as did Tom Jenkins (2005), Haas (2008) and Mark McNulty (2009).

• Brooks' runner-up finish today was his best in a TOUR event since losing in an 18-hole playoff to Retief Goosen at the 2001 U.S. Open Championship.

Mike Goodes' T3 finish today was his best on the Champions Tour since his victory at the 2009 Allianz Championship. Rod Spittle, who played his last 48 holes of this week's event without a bogey, also was T3 this week, his best effort since finishing second at this year's Allianz Championship.

Keith Fergus carded an 8-under 63 to not only tie the tournament's 18-hole record but also posted his career-low score on the Champions Tour. Fergus joined John Bland (Rd. 2, 2002), Massy Kuramoto (Rd. 3, 2007) and Tommy Armour III (Rd. 1, 2010) with the fourth 63 in Principal Charity Classic history. Fergus made eight birdies, including three in the last four holes, and had a run of four straight birdies on the front nine. He made just seven birdies in his first two rounds.

John Huston, a seven-time winner on the PGA TOUR, shot a final-round 67 and finished T16 in his Champions Tour debut.

Damon Green, best known as the caddie for Zach Johnson on the PGA TOUR, shot 3-under 68 today and finished T46 in his first start on the Champions Tour.

• If not for an opening-round 74 (T59), Lee Rinker may have won this event. Rinker rallied from his three-over score on Friday with rounds of 65-64 on the weekend and finished T6, his best effort on the Champions Tour in seven career starts.

• 51 players broke par in this week's event at Glen Oaks. After just 15 scores in the 60s on Friday and 52 sub-70 scores on Saturday, there were 49 rounds in the 60s today. The field scoring average for this year's event was 70.179, the lowest at the Principal Charity Classic since 2006 (70.156). There were 25 eagles and 879 birdies made this year vs. 14 eagles and 795 birdies at last year's event.