Even par for the round heading to what played as the easiest hole on The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course, Langer said he aimed 8 inches left of the hole. A winner more than 100 times worldwide during the course of his hall-of-fame career, this marked the first time Langer made an eagle putt to win a tournament.
“I was missing so many putts today and finally I made one," he said after claiming his 35th PGA Tour Champions title. "The confidence wasn't that high, to tell you the truth. I had a very similar putt just on 17 that broke about 7 or 8 inches left to right and I made a really good stroke but I left it an inch short, or two inches. I was going to make sure I got this one to the hole.”
Langer, who clinched the top seed for the Charles Schwab Championship at Phoenix (Ariz.) Country Club in two weeks, finished the 54-hole event at 16-under 200. Verplank made a strong weekend charge with a pair of 6-under 66s after an opening-round 69. Reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Kenny Perry, and Billy Mayfair, the 1986 U.S. Amateur Public Links and 1987 U.S. Amateur champion, shared third at 12-under 204.
Langer’s 35 PGA Tour Champions titles are second only to five-time USGA champion Hale Irwin, who has won 45 times on the 50-and-over circuit. Langer is also second all time on the PGA European Tour’s wins list with 42, trailing only Seve Ballesteros (50).
Closer to their Cards
A pair of USGA champions were among the 82 golfers to advance to the third and final stage of the LPGA Tour’s Qualifying Tournament on Sunday at Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla. Gabriella Then, the 2013 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion who was celebrating her 22nd birthday on Sunday, tied for third at 9-under 279, three strokes behind medalist Georgia Hall, of England. Then’s fellow University of Southern California alum Kyung Kim, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, tied for 55th at 4-over 292.