Tom Lehman has always prided himself on outlasting his flashier opponents by playing unspectacular golf.
Never was that more evident than Sunday in Parker, Colo., where Lehman won the 71st Senior PGA Championship with a par on the first playoff hole, after Fred Couples and David Frost made double bogeys after terrible tee shots.
Lehman began the sudden death playoff on No. 18 with a solid shot down the fairway before Couples’ only bad tee shot of the tournament veered left into the shrubs, forcing him to take a drop.
Frost’s tee shot ended up in the left bunker and his second shot went left of the gallery. He cleared out dozens of pine cones in between his ball and the green before striking his ball, which was nestled in a shrub, across the green.
“That was just a bizarre playoff,” Lehman said. “… I turned to my caddie and I said, ‘How many shots have they taken?’ ”
Frost and Couples finished with 6s before Lehman two-putted from 12 feet.
“I think I had an advantage from the start because I had just finished,” Lehman said. “The longer you have to wait I think the tougher it gets to play in a playoff.”
Frost had waited 45 minutes, Couples half an hour.
Lehman’s first individual Champions Tour triumph – he teamed with Bernhard Langer to win the 2009 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – was worth $360,000.
Couples and Frost each took home $176,000, which was of little consolation to Couples, who had won half of his previous six events on the tour for 50-and-over players.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” Couples said as he left.
Couples rallied with back-to-back eagles on Nos. 15 and 16, but missed an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
ZACH JOHNSON WINS
Zach Johnson shot a closing 6-under 64 to win the Colonial Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, with a tournament-record 21-under 259.
The 2007 Masters champion finished three strokes ahead of Brian Davis, who had a closing 68.
Jeff Overton and Ben Crane both shot 67 to finish tied for third at 17 under.
EAGLE HELPS DONALD
Luke Donald’s late eagle led to a one-shot win over Rhys Davies at the European Tour’s Madrid Masters.
Tied with Davies heading to the 16th hole, Donald claimed the lead after hitting his approach shot from 252 yards to within 12 feet of the hole and sinking the putt.
Donald shot a final-round 5-under 67 to finish at 21-under 267 and win his first title since 2006.