Round 4 notes: SENIOR PLAYERS

July 01, 2012
Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

Weather: Sunny and warm with highs in the low-to-mid 90s and winds from the WNW at 5-15 mph.

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Daley, a non-exempt player on the Champions Tour, fired a closing-round 2-under 68 and held off a trio of former major championship winners on the PGA TOUR, to claim his first win at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship at Fox Chapel on Sunday.


Buoyed by a tournament-best 24 birdies, Daley started the day tied with former British Open winner Mark Calcavecchia with Fred Couples and Tom Lehman, one stroke behind. He made key birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 to go to 14 under and led by as much as three strokes before a bogey at No. 17 gave him just a one-shot cushion on Lehman but he finished it off with a 21-foot birdie at No. 18.

• With his win, Daley earns fully-exempt status thru next July 1 as well as a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship next year and a five-year exemption into the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

• Daley earns a check for $405,000, the largest of his professional career as well as 810 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race and moves into fourth place on the 2012 points list with 958 points.

• Daley becomes the first non-exempt player to win a Champions Tour event since Rod Spittle open qualified and won the 2010 AT&T Championship in San Antonio.

• Daley's best effort in a Champions Tour event prior to today was a T4 last month at the Senior PGA Championship, his last start.

• Daley becomes the 18th third-round leader/co-leader to go on and win the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS in the 30-year history of the event, including the last three (Mark O'Meara -- 2010, Couples -- 2011 and Daley -- 2012).

• Daley led all players with 24 birdies, four more than Calcavecchia, Fred Funk and Lehman.

• Daley joins an impressive list of former winners of this tournament including seven members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Arnold Palmer became the first when he claimed wins in 1984 and 1985. Rodriguez added a title to his resume in 1986, followed by Gary Player in 1987. Billy Casper became the fourth in 1988 and Nicklaus the fifth in 1990. Raymond Floyd (1996, 2000) and Hale Irwin (1999) complete the list.

• With his runner-up finish Lehman takes over the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup race, the fourth player to occupy that spot. The 2011 winner of the Cup, Lehman now has 1,521 points, a lead of 255 points on Michael Allen (1,266) and 406 over Bernhard Langer (1,115). Daley is fourth (958) and Couples (899) is fifth.

• With a 1-under-par 69, Lehman extended his streak of rounds in the 60s to 12, which equals the second-longest streak of sub-70 rounds in Champions Tour history. The longest is Irwin's 13 in 1999. Lehman is now tied with Couples, who had 12 in 2010.

• Lehman earned $237,600 with his second-place finish and became the second player on the Champions Tour to surpass the $1 million mark in season earnings. Lehman now has earned $1,043,107 and surpassed the seven-figure mark three straight years. He is now second on the 2012 money list behind Allen ($1,222,932).

• Lehman was bidding to become the first player in two years to win back-to-back major titles. The last to do so was Langer at the 2010 Senior British Open and the U.S. Senior Open.

• The winner of the last 23 tournaments on the Champions Tour has come from the final group on Sunday. The last winner not to play in the final grouping was Jeff Sluman at the 2011 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

• Irwin matched his age for the fifth time in his career on Sunday, shooting a 3-under-par 67. Irwin punctuated his 72nd hole by making an eagle to finish T30.

Bill Glasson posted his second consecutive top-10 finish in a major championship. He was T5 at the Regions Tradition and T6 here.

Olin Browne, who will defend his U.S. Senior Open title in two weeks, made a strong comeback after an opening-round 3-over 73 (he was T52). Brown tied the competitive-course record with a 62 in his second round and then fired rounds of 69-65 on the weekend to claim third place.

• One other player who moved up the leaderboard after a sub-par first round was Chien Soon Lu. He opened with a 74 (T64), but posted consecutive 67s to finish T12.

Mark Brooks posted Sunday's low round, a 6-under-par 64.