The effort to weaken Bernhard Langer’s stronghold on the Charles Schwab Cup was strengthened instead, when he eagled the final hole to win the opening of three playoff events, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, on Sunday.
Langer, who has won three straight Charles Schwab Cups and four overall, began the final round with a three-stroke lead, but struggled with his putter, until the tournament was on the line.
He came to the par-5 18th hole at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Va., trailing Scott Verplank by a stroke. Langer hit a fairway-wood second shot to 15 feet left of the hole and made the putt to wrest the victory from Verplank.
“Played really good this week,” he said. “Didn’t miss a fairway, missed only one green the first day. Similar the second day. Made no bogeys. Today was a little more shaky. I was a little bit out of rhythm. The putter was ice cold. That was the difference. I finally made one when it really mattered.”
The victory was the sixth of the season, a personal best for the 60-year-old who seems to be getting better with age. It also was the 35th win of the PGA Tour Champions career.
Langer had a final-round two-under 70 for a 54-hole total of 16-under-par 200. It was the 56th time in 64 rounds he’s posted an under-par score this year.
Verplank closed with a six-under-par 66, but came up short in his bid to win for the first time on the PGA Tour Champions.