Notebook: Regions Tradition, Round 4

June 09, 2013

By Phil Stambaugh, Champions Tour staff

-- Weather: Overcast in the morning with highs in the low-80s and virtually no wind. A two-tee start was used and tee times were moved up due to a threat of an afternoon thunderstorm. Several scattered showers passed through the area producing periods of heavy rain at times. Play was eventually suspended by lightning from 1:39-2:47 p.m. Preferred lies were used in the final round.

-- It was Frosty The Lowman, but barely at the 25th annual Regions Tradition. David Frost edged Fred Couples by one stroke for his first senior major championship at Shoal Creek after both players carded 68s in the final round. Down the stretch, both Frost and Couples matched birdies at the 16th hole to separate themselves from the rest of the field and then Frost maintained his one-stroke advantage when Couples hit an indifferent pitch for a third shot on the par-5 17th hole and then missed his 30-foot birdie putt. On the par-4 18th, Frost rifled a 8–iron shot over the top of the flag to within 10 feet of the hole, but Couples’ followed by hitting his approach 12 feet away. Couples’ birdie bid to tie slid by the cup on the left side, allowing Frost to two-putt for the victory.

With His Victory… David Frost

-- He wins his first major championship on the Champions Tour in his 17th appearance in a senior major and claims his fifth career victory on the circuit in his 87th start. His previous-best finish in a major on the Champions Tour was a three-way playoff loss to Tom Lehman at the 2010 Senior PGA Championship. His previous-best finish in a major championship on the PGA TOUR was a T5 in the 1995 Masters Tournament.

-- Frost’s victory today was his second Champions Tour title in last seven starts (Toshiba Classic) and he joins Bernhard Langer as the second player on the circuit this year with multiple wins. It marks the second straight year that Frost has won multiple titles (2012 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf/with Michael Allen, 2012 AT&T Championship). On the PGA TOUR, Frost won twice in 1988, 1992 and 1993.

-- Frost becomes the fourth international player to win the Regions Tradition, joining Australia’s Graham Marsh (1999), Argentina’s Eduardo Romero (2006) and Mark McNulty (Zimbabwe). Frost also Is the third international winner in the last four majors on the Champions Tour to win, joining Japan’s Kohki Idoki (Senior PGA Championship) and England’s Roger Chapman (2012 U.S. Senior Open).

-- Frost won the Regions Tradition in his fourth appearance at this event. His previous-best finish in this event was 11th in 2011.

-- Frost earns 660 Charles Schwab Cup points and takes over the lead from Bernhard Langer in the season-long race. Frost now has 1,336 total points and Langer has 1,038 points. John Cook is third with 794 points.

-- Of the 23 Regions Traditions that have gone 72 holes, David Frost became the 11th 54-hole leader to go on and win and the second consecutive.

Miscellaneous Notes

-- David Frost’s 16-under-par score at this year’s Regions Tradition was the lowest 72-hole total to win the Regions Tradition since 2009 when Mike Reid shot a 16-under 272 score at Sunriver, Oregon. It was the lowest score in relation to par to win any major on the Champions Tour since Fred Funk won the 2009 U.S. Senior Open with a 20-under 268 score at Crooked Stick near Indianapolis.

-- Tom Lehman fell short in his quest for a third straight Regions Tradition title, finishing T23 this year at Shoal Creek. Lehman made a pair of eagles, but his nine bogeys this year were just one shy of the combined total he made in winning this event the last two years.

-- Bernhard Langer’s 9-under-par 63 today included 10 birdies and was not only the best round posted at the Regions Tradition since the event relocated to Shoal Creek in 2011, but also matched Gary Player’s course record set in Round 2 of the 1984 PGA Championship. Langer’s 63 was one stroke off the event record shared by three different players. The previous-best at Shoal Creek in the Regions Tradition was 65 by Mark Calcavecchia (Rd. 2, 2011), Kenny Perry (Rd. 2, 2011), Loren Roberts (Rd. 4, 2011) and Fred Couples (Rd. 4, 2012).

-- Fred Couples’ runner-up finish this week gives him seven top-five performances in his last nine appearances on the circuit dating back to his victory at Turnberry in the Senior British Open last year.

-- In his 26th career appearance in a senior major, John Cook carded a 6-under 66 on Sunday and it led to a T3 performance at this Regions Tradition. It marked the sixth time in his career he’s finished among the top three in a major on the Champions Tour. Here’s a breakdown by major – Senior PGA Championship (2nd in 2012), Senior British Open (P2 in 2008), U.S. Senior Open (T3 in 2010), Constellation Senior Players (P2 in 2011) and Regions Tradition (P2 in 2009).

-- Russ Cochran, last week’s winner at The Principal Charity Classic, shot a final-round 67 and it moved him up into a T5 this week. Cochran was T6 two weeks ago at the Senior PGA Championship and he joined Duffy Waldorf (T5) and Kirk Triplett (T10) as the only three players to finish among the top 10 in each of the first two majors on the Champions Tour this year. Waldorf and Triplett were T6 at the Senior PGA Championship as well.

-- Sixty-one-year-old Morris Hatalsky shot a final-round 71 and finished T8 in the Regions Tradition, his best performance in a Champions Tour event since he was solo fifth at the 2010 Ensure Classic at Rock Barn. It was Hatalsky’s best effort in a major championship since he was T8 at the 2009 Regions Tradition.
Michael Allen became the only player to post top-10 finishes in each of the three Regions Traditions that have been played at Shoal Creek with his T5 performance today. Allen was fourth in 2011 and finished T9 last year in Birmingham.

-- Peter Senior finished T12 this week and his check for $44,733 moved him ahead of Joey Sindelar with the most career money won on the Champions Tour without a win. Senior now has earned $3,784,986 while Joey Sindelar is now second with $3,777,748 in career money without a title. In 80 career starts on the Champions Tour, Senior has finished second five times and third five times. He lost a playoff to Tom Lehman at the 2011 Regions Tradition and also fell in overtime at the 2011 Songdo IBD Championship and 2012 Allianz Championship. Senior also was a runner-up in Birmingham in 2010 at the old Regions Charity Classic at Ross Bridge.

-- For the second straight year, a player made 23 birdies in the event. This year, it was winner David Frost. Last year, Brad Bryant had 23 total birdies.

Shoal Creek Statistics By Round:
Stat category
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Cumulative 2012 Cumulative
Stroke Average 71.407 72.075 71.577 72.231 71.820 72.821
Par/better 58 48 53 41 200 143
Below par 47 41 42 34 164 106