Colin Montgomerie wins playoff when Bernhard Langer needs four bunker shots to reach the green
Colin Montgomerie won the Invesco QQQ Championship and Bernhard Langer lost it, and each did so in an extraordinary fashion on Sunday.
Montgomerie shot a tournament course-record 63 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that allowed him to reach a playoff with Langer in the second of three Charles Schwab Cup playoff events.
On the first extra hole, the par-4 18th, Langer missed the green right, his ball landing in a bunker, leaving him an exceedingly difficult third shot. And fourth shot. And fifth shot. And sixth shot.
Yes, it took him four to extricate his ball from the bunker, handing Montgomerie, who made an easy par, his first victory of the season and the seventh PGA Tour Champions win of his career.
“How often does that happen?” Montgomerie said. “How often does Bernhard Langer take four in the bunker?”
Montgomerie acknowledged the difficulty of the first bunker shot. Langer short-sided himself, and the ball came to rest on a downhill lie. It hit the lip and rolled back into a more difficult position, as did his second bunker shot. His third from the bunker gave him a level lie, and he hit his fourth bunker shot onto the green.
The first 18 holes for Montgomerie had put him in a position to win. He went out in four-under 32, then holed pitch shots at 10 for birdie and 11 for eagle. He added another birdie at 16, then holed a 40-foot birdie putt at 18.
He finished 54 holes at 14-under-par 202 to tie Langer, who closed with a 67.
“You start five behind, you obviously do the best you can,” Montgomerie said. “I was starting in eighth position. You hope you do OK, but not with the guys ahead of me—the Langers, the [Retief] Goosens, the [Scott] Parels, some great players. Just so happens you score 63 and hole a putt from the back of the green.”
The victory keeps Montgomerie's hopes alive for winning the Charles Schwab Cup, though Scott McCarron still has the advantage leading into the Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week at Phoenix Country Club.