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Sutherland overtakes Weir to win Champions title


TUCSON, Ariz. — Kevin Sutherland was not likely hitting it nicely, not making a complete lot putts, but saved hanging round.

A chip-in birdie on Tucson Nationwide’s sixteenth gap modified the whole lot.

The one birdie of the ultimate spherical on the par-3 not solely put Sutherland in a tie for the lead, it gave him the boldness to shut out his fifth PGA Tour Champions title.

Caught in impartial most of a windy afternoon, Sutherland chipped in for birdie at No. 16 and had a tap-in for an additional on the subsequent gap, capturing a 4-under 69 to overhaul Mike Weir within the Colorguard Basic on Sunday.

“I used to be two down with three to play, wasn’t actually displaying quite a bit, not likely doing something at that time and impulsively chip it in,” Sutherland mentioned. “Hastily, we’re tied and I performed final two holes in addition to I performed any holes all week.”

Sutherland trailed by two to begin the day and was down 4 after Weir birdied the par-5 eighth. Sutherland reduce the lead in half with two birdies in his first three holes to begin on the again 9 and chipped in from brief proper of the 183-yard, par-3 sixteenth.

Sutherland tapped in on 17 after placing via the perimeter on the par 5 to take the lead and simply missed one other birdie on the tough 18th to shut out his second victory in his previous three PGA Tour Champions begins. He completed at 15 below, two forward of Weir and three up on Steve Stricker and Scott Parel.

“Arizona has all the time been good to me,” mentioned Sutherland, who received the Charles Schwab Championship in Phoenix final yr. “I do not know what it’s in regards to the air right here.”

Phil Mickelson’s lengthy shot bid to win his first three PGA Tour Champions begins got here to a screeching halt with a triple bogey on the par-4 ninth. He shot 73 to complete 11 photographs again.

Weir was in management for many of the entrance 9, then watched one putt after one other slide previous the opening on the again. The 2003 Masters champion had bogeys on two of his remaining three holes to shoot an even-par 73 for his second runner-up end on the PGA Tour Champions since turning 50 final yr.

“I clearly did not strike it fairly pretty much as good as the primary two days, however I did not strike it poorly, both,” Weir mentioned. “I simply did not actually get a lot out of it. The entrance 9, I did; however the again 9, I did not get a lot out of it in any respect.”

Weir opened the second spherical with a birdie as gusting wind bent flagsticks at sharp angles. Following 5 straight pars, he walked as much as the inexperienced on the par-3 seventh as Rush’s “Limelight” blared from one of many backyards lining Tucson Nationwide.

The Canadian left-hander responded with a little bit inspiration of his personal, chipping in for birdie from about 90 ft. A curling 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eighth gave him a four-shot lead over Sutherland.

Sutherland opened the again 9 with a birdie and had one other on the par-5 twelfth. The 56-year-old from Sacramento, California, stumbled when he could not stand up and down from a bunker on the par-3 14th, however he closed with a flourish as situations worsened.

Weir watched a slick, 4-foot par putt slide by the opening after a pleasant bunker shot on No. 16 and missed a birdie putt from the perimeter on No. 17 after a bunker shot ran via the again of the inexperienced. He three-putted to bogey the par-14 18th.

“A pair little issues, that is all it’s,” Weir mentioned. “You get a little bit break right here and there and that wins a match.”

Mickelson was the final novice to win on the PGA Tour in Tucson 30 years in the past, however he could not conjure up the identical magic in his return.

9 photographs again getting into the ultimate spherical, he had three birdies and a bogey via the primary eight holes, earlier than hitting his tee shot into the water on the par-4 ninth. He then hit into the greenside bunker and three-putted for a 7.

Mickelson did keep away from the mud on No. 15, at the least.

He hit two good tee photographs within the opening two rounds and each discovered the pond on the dogleg of the par 5. Mickelson made a birdie after hitting his second shot out of the mud within the first spherical and salved par after one other mud shot within the second.

He stayed away from the pond altogether on Sunday by hitting into the adjoining seventeenth fairway and ended up with par after lacking a birdie putt of about 15 ft.

“That is the sort of stuff that I have been doing,” he mentioned. “I hit a good chip, however I left it above the opening, missed the putt and made a 5.”