Colin Montgomerie wins in British Columbia
VICTORIA, British Columbia (AP) — Colin Montgomerie won the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship on Sunday, outlasting Scott McCarron with a birdie on the third hole of a playoff.
Montgomerie closed with a 4-under 67 to match McCarron at 15-under 198 at scenic Bear Mountain Resort, the first-year venue in the PGA Tour Champions event that was played in Hawaii from 2012-14.
“I’m obviously delighted with my performance, but it was very sad,” Montgomerie said, noting golf great Arnold Palmer’s death Sunday at age 87. “I had a message to me that Arnold Palmer had passed away during the round.”
McCarron bogeyed the par-5 18th in regulation for a 70.
Montgomerie and McCarron matched pars on 18 on the first two extra holes and Montgomerie won with a 15-footer on the third trip down the hole in the playoff.
“I kept on missing these putts unfortunately, but eventually got one in,” Montgomerie said. “So delighted that way, but again this day will be remembered, unfortunately, for very, very sad reasons.”
The 53-year-old Montgomerie’s three previous victories on the 50-and-over tour came in major championships — the 2014 and 2015 Senior PGA Championship and 2014 U.S. Senior Open. The Scot won 31 times on the European Tour and topped the tour’s money list a record eight times, seven in a row from 1993-99.
He marveled at the course.
“This is unbelievable, this golf course,” Montgomerie said. “To have the vision of putting a golf course on this land is quite phenomenal. I always treat golf courses as how many poor holes there are on a golf course, and this is a very good one. There isn’t any poor holes, there’s not one poor hole on this golf course at all.”
McCarron missed a chance for his second victory of the year after winning the Principal Charity Classic in June in Iowa for his first senior title.
“Pretty disappointing, obviously,” McCarron said. In regulation, missing the fairway and getting the break I did was pretty unfortunate, but I didn’t hit a very good shot. But I hung in there tough, I didn’t have my ‘A’ game today, but I was trying as hard as I could.”
He also remembered Palmer.
“My wife knew in the playoff, but she didn’t let me know, which is a good thing,” McCarron said. “Arnold was one of my absolute heroes, and probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever received was right after I won in Des Moines just a few months ago, I got a hand-written note from Arnold Palmer. That meant so much to me. He was just such an amazing guy and meant so much to everyone and he’s going to be sorely missed. So I’m very, very sad today.”
Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a course-record 61 to tie for third at 13 under, finishing as Montgomerie and McCarron made the turn. The Spanish star played the first five holes on the back nine in 6 under with an eagle and five birdies, then closed with four pars to miss a chance to break 60.
Jeff Sluman (67), Scott Dunlap (68) and Doug Garwood (70) also were 13 under.
Bernhard Langer closed with a 63 to tie for seventh at 12 under. The 59-year-old German star leads the tour with four victories this season.
Fellow Hall of Famer Vijay Singh tied for 28th at 6 under after a 71.
Rod Spittle topped the four Canadians in the field, closing with a 65 to tie for 38th at 4 under. Jim Rutledge was 3 under after a 68, Stephen Ames 1 over after a 69, and Murray Poje had a 73 to finish last among the 78 finishers at 21 over.