Final Rounds Notes

SAS Championship – the 23rd of 26 Charles Schwab Cup events on the 2014 Champions Tour
Cary, NC
October 10-12, 2014

Purse: $2,100,000 ($315,000/winner; 315 Charles Schwab Cup points)
Prestonwood Country Club                                                            
Par/Yards: 72/7,212

Weather: Mostly cloudy and cool with a light drizzle throughout the day and high temperatures in the low-60s. Winds were from the NE at 5-15 mph and lift, clean and place rules were utilized again for a second straight day.    

Final Leaderboard

Position

Name

Score

1.

Kirk Triplett

70-63-69—202 (-14)

2.

Tom Lehman

67-68-70—205 (-11)

T3.  

Bernhard Langer

73-65-68—206 (-10)

 

Kenny Perry

72-67-67—206 (-10)

T5.

Paul Goydos

68-67-72—207 (-9)

 

Mark McNulty

72-68-67—207 (-9)

 

Kevin Sutherland

69-68-70—207 (-9)

Kirk Triplett managed to recover from each of his three bogeys in the final round, making a birdie after each one, and his final-round 3-under 69 led to an easy three-stroke victory over Tom Lehman at the 2014 SAS Championship. Triplett started the final round with a two-stroke lead over both Paul Goydos and Lehman and each player could get no closer than that margin at any point during the final round. Triplett’s 15-foot birdie putt at the par-5 12th hole gave him a four-stroke advantage and at that point, it was his tournament to lose with six holes to play. Down the stretch, he proceeded to make five pars and a two-putt birdie from 30 feet at the par-5 17th and waltzed to an easy victory.       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With His Victory…Kirk Triplett

Triplett won his fourth career title on the Champions Tour in his 57th start on the Champions Tour and has now collected multiple titles for the first time ever in a TOUR season. In addition to winning back-to-back Nature Valley First Tee Opens at Pebble Beach in 2012-13, Triplett captured The ACE Group Classic in Naples earlier this year, defeating Bernhard Langer, Olin Browne and Duffy Waldorf by a stroke.

Triplett joined Bernhard Langer (5), Colin Montgomerie (2), Kenny Perry (2) and Fred Couples (2) as the fifth multiple winner on the Champions Tour this year.

Triplett won the SAS Championship this year in his third appearance in the tournament. He finished third last year after trailing Russ Cochran, the eventual winner in 2013, by two strokes after 36 holes.

Triplett earned 315 Charles Schwab Cup points and increased his yearly total in the Schwab Cup race to 1,273 points, good enough for sixth position in the season-long standings.

Triplett received a check for $315,000 and increased his 2014 earnings total to $1,247,793 and moved up into fourth place on the current money list. It marks the second straight year he’s eclipsed the seven-figure mark in single-season earnings on the Champions Tour.

Triplett won three times on the PGA TOUR (2000 Nissan Open, 2003 Reno-Tahoe Open, 2006 Chrysler Classic of Tucson) and also became the oldest winner on the Web.com Tour when he claimed the 2011 News Sentinel Open in Knoxville at 49 years, 4 months, 25 days.

Triplett’s stats/rank:  Fairways Hit-38/45 (4th)             Greens Hit-44/54 (T5)             Putts-87 (T17)
 

Final-Round Notes/Statistics at the SAS Championship

Kirk Triplett’s three-stroke victory over Tom Lehman was the biggest winning margin on the Champions Tour since Bernhard Langer’s record 13-stroke triumph at the Senior Open Championship in July. It was also the biggest winning margin at the SAS Championship since 2008 when Eduardo Romero defeated Tom Kite by three strokes.  

Triplett’s 70 in the opening round was the highest start by a winner at the SAS Championship since Bruce Lietzke opened with a 72 in 2002 and coincidentally, he also won with a 14-under 202 total.   

Bernhard Langer’s T3 effort today, coupled with Colin Montgomerie finishing outside of the top 10 (T19), increased Langer’s lead in the Charles Schwab Cup race. Langer earned 138 points today and now has a total of 3,762 total points on the season. Montgomerie remains in second place with 2,991 points and now trails Langer by 771 points with three events remaining this season. Montgomerie will have an opportunity to cut into Langer’s lead at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn this week as the Charles Schwab Cup points leader is not entered in the event.  

Bernhard Langer also earned a check for $138,075 today and increased his overall 2014 season earnings to $2,842,089. He’s now just $186,215 short of Hale Irwin’s all-time record total of $3,028,304 established in 2002.

Guy Boros, an open qualifier this week at the SAS Championship, finished T10 at the SAS Championship and  he earned a spot into the upcoming Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn as a result of being the highest non-exempt player among the top 10. Tom Byrum earned a spot into this week’s SAS Championship by being the highest non-exempt player among the top 10 at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and he finished T30 this week at Prestonwood.  

Two players who had taken more than a month off from the Champions Tour shook off the rust in their games on Sunday and finished T3 this week. Bernhard Langer’s T3 included a final-round 68 and he played his last 49 holes of the event without making a bogey. It was Langer’s 14th career third-place finish. Kenny Perry birdied five of his last six holes to post a 5-under 67. Perry had not played in any tournament since the PGA Championship in mid-August and in a Champions Tour event since winning the 3M Championship in early August.

Mark McNulty, playing with a heavy heart today, carded a 5-under 67 and vaulted into a T5, his best finish on the Champions Tour since placing solo fifth at the Constellation Senior Players Championship in late June.  McNulty moved from 41st on the money list into the 35th position. His long-time caddie Rocky Hobday passed away yesterday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Paul Goydos moved into the top-30 on the 2014 money list after his T5 performance this week. Goydos started the week in 33rd position, but he’s now in 29th place with $587,288. Steve Pate started the week on the bubble at No. 30 and he’s now 31st, just $27,207 back of Esteban Toledo. The top 30 on the 2014 money list after the AT&T Championship earn a spot in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Defending champion Russ Cochran finished T50 this week. Cochran, who also won the 2010 SAS Championship, was bidding for a third victory at Prestonwood…Brad Faxon’s 6-under 66 was the low round of the day and moved him up 40 spots into a T25…Kirk Triplett’s 19 birdies were the most this week while Bernhard Langer only made two bogeys, the fewest by a player in the field.

Here’s a comparison of the scoring averages at Prestonwood from Round 1/Round 2 over the last two years:

Year                Round 1/Sub-Par Rds.            Round 2/Sub-Par Rds             Round 3/Sub-Par Rds
 

2014                72.506/29                                70.313/51                                71.837/37                       

 

2013                71.468/42                                70.835/46                                71.089/45