Round 3 notebook: Mitsubishi Electric Championship

January 21, 2013

By Dave Senko, Champions Tour staff

KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii -- John Cook sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat David Frost and win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship for the second time in the last three years. Cook, who played all 54 holes in regulation without a bogey, and then birdied the two playoff holes, also won the 2011 tournament here on the Big Island.

Cook trailed Frost for 17 holes in the final round, but drained a 15-foot birdie putt to force overtime at the Hualalai Golf Club. After each player made birdie on the first playoff hole, Cook ended things with his winning putt and claimed his ninth career title on Tour. It was Cook’s second playoff win on the Champions Tour in eight tries. His other win came in 2011 when he beat Jay Don Blake to win the Outback Steakhouse Pro-Am. Bernhard Langer made a late final-round run, shooting an 8-under-par 64 but fell one shy of the playoff.

• With his win, John Cook earns 309 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race to grab an early lead and also earned a check for $309,000.

• The victory was the ninth for John Cook on the Champions Tour and he also won 11 times on the PGA TOUR.

• Cook became the third player to play all three rounds bogey-free at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, joining D.A. Weibring (2006/T3) and Corey Pavin (2011/6th). He was also the 12th player to play bogey-free and win an event. The last to do was Fred Funk at the 2012 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.

• Cook is also the sixth player to post multiple wins in this tournament. The others were Miller Barber, Al Geiberger, George Archer, Dana Quigley and Hale Irwin.

• Cook certainly took full advantage of the par-5s this week, making birdies on 10 of 12. He was also an impressive 13-under on the back nine and also made birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 in the playoff.

• David Frost extended his string of consecutive holes without a three-putt to 254 dating back to 2012.

• Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer each closed with a bang on Sunday, firing 8-under 64s to post the low rounds for the tournament. Langer’s final round included a stretch of 11 holes midway through his round where he made nine birdies, including five in a row. At one point in his round, Langer one-putted 10 of 11 greens. Langer finished third overall, one stroke shy of the playoff, while Perry finished T5. 

• Bernhard Langer led all players in putts per round at 26.33, including 28 one-putts.

• With a final-round 2-under 70, Hale Irwin finished T9, increasing his record total of top-10 finishes on the Champions Tour to 209. Irwin has now finished in the top-10 a total of eight times here, one shy of Tom Watson’s record of nine. Irwin also led all players with 29 one-putts.

• Steve Elkington finished T9 in his Champions Tour debut.

• John Cook, David Frost, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples and Kirk Triplett all posted three rounds in the 60s.

• Michael Allen enjoyed a nice turnaround from his Saturday outing. After shooting an 8-over 80 on Saturday, Allen shaved 13 strokes off that score, finishing with a 5-under 67 on Sunday.

• The scoring average for the final round was 70.450 and 13 players posted rounds in the 60s and 29 finished under par.  The average for the three rounds was 70.417, slightly higher than last year’s average of 70.373.

• Tom Lehman led all players in greens in regulation at 87.04%. He led the Tour in that category in both 2011 and 2012.

• The Champions Tour will be idle until Feb. 4-10 at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Fla., where Corey Pavin will defend his title.