Power Rankings: SAS Championship
October 08, 2018
By Vartan Kupelian, PGATOUR.COM
- October 08, 2018
- Colin Montgomerie will try and defend his title in Cary, North Carolina.
Vartan Kupelian is a PGATOUR.COM contributor. Each week, Kupelian will size up the field and provide his top 10 players going into the tournament, based on factors such as the player's strengths, the course setup, recent performances, etc.
There isn’t much that escapes Colin Montgomerie’s attention during a round of golf. If it happens that there is a tournament to be won during that round, his focus becomes even sharper.
Montgomerie’s focus was at a peak during the final round of the SAS Championship last year. He shot a closing 8-under-par 64 to break open a tight contest and post his sixth victory on the PGA TOUR Champions.
Montgomerie’s 16-under-par 200 total was good for a three-stroke victory over Doug Garwood and Vijay Singh. It was Montgomerie’s second victory in four starts after winning the JAPAN AIRLINES Championship.
Montgomerie’s short game was perfection. He led the field with 18 birdies and led all players in putting average at 1.60.
Montgomerie began the final round at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C., tied for the lead with Jerry Kelly and Phil Price at 8-under-par.
“I'm the ultimate scoreboard watcher,” Montgomerie said. “In fact, I could tell you who's 28th, never mind first, second or third. I need a life actually, I need a life.
“Scoreboard watching. Yeah, I knew exactly what was going on. There was a cheer at 15 as I was playing 14. I realized that was for Corey Pavin's birdie. I didn't know that he had bogeyed 14 and bogeyed 16, so actually I thought that was to tie me so I needed that putt at 14 and 15. But when the putt went in at 15, I knew I was okay, I knew I was safe there. I could get around. I was hitting the ball well off the tee. I knew I could hit the last three fairways. If I did that, I was going to win and I did do that.”
Montgomerie made five birdies in the final round but said the key was a par save.
“The one hole that was pivotal on the back nine was the par save at 13,” he said. “I was in the bunker off the tee. It was a poor tee shot. I missed the green on the right and I chipped up to about six, seven feet and they're the momentum putts that have got to go in. That putt allowed me to birdie 14 and 15. So the key moment on the back nine was the par save at 13 … It gave me the freedom, yeah.”