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Vijay Singh wins The Ally Challenge for fifth PGA TOUR Champions title

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Vijay Singh wins The Ally Challenge for fifth PGA TOUR Champions title

    Written by Bob McClellan

    Vijay Singh, 60, won his fifth PGA TOUR Champions title and his first since 2018 at The Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Michigan, on Sunday.

    Trailing second-round co-leader Paul Goydos by a stroke and playing one group in front of him, Singh parred the 18th from 35 feet when his birdie putt came up just short. Unbeknownst to him, Goydos had butchered the par-3 17th just as Singh was lining up his first putt.

    Vijay Singh gets the win at The Ally Challenge

    Goydos, 59, who hadn’t won on the Champions Tour since 2017, five-putted to record a triple-bogey 6 and drop from 15 under to 12 under. His first putt stopped 3 feet from the hole, but he proceeded to take four more strokes to get the ball in the cup.

    Singh had seen Goydos drive his tee shot in the fairway on the 18th and figured he’d be paying close attention to how he finished. But the native of Fiji looked at a digital scoreboard as he walked off the 18th green and saw his name on top and Jeff Maggert, who was finished, in second at 13 under.

    “I saw Paul hitting it on the fairway. I said OK, he’s back there I still have a chance,” Singh said. “Then I look at the scoreboard, I was 14 and Jeff was 13 and no Goydos. So I'm surprised what he did there. Somebody said he tripled.”

    It was Singh’s fourth victory at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club. He won it three times (1997, 2004, 2005) when it hosted the PGA TOUR's Buick Open.

    “I'm as shocked as anybody,” said Singh, who shot a final-round 68. “I guess for some reason I drive the ball very well here. Whenever I come here, tree-lined, I drive it well and I've putted well. My putting has been a mystery for a long time, but I've found a few things out the last few weeks and I've been putting really well.”

    Goydos fell into a four-way tie for third with Tim Petrovic, Stephen Ames and Harrison Frazar. Second-round co-leader Darren Clarke stumbled to a final-round 72 and finished alone in seventh.

    The Ally Challenge was Singh’s 17th start of 2023 and his fourth top 10 in his past 10 events. With a projected rise to 11th in the Schwab Cup standings from 19th, the Hall of Famer is eager for the rest of the year to unfold.

    “Whenever I tee up here I always feel like, on the Champions Tour, I have a chance to win, but it never materialized,” Singh said. “I've been working really hard. This year's been pretty good to me. I had a bad foot for the last two, three years, and riding a cart really helped a lot. So I'm really happy with this win, and I look forward to the next events. I think my game's coming around, and this was the start of it.”

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