Scott Parel held a five-stroke lead with 18 holes to play, which ordinarily suggests victory is a foregone conclusion, though Kevin Sutherland’s putter disagreed.
Sutherland birdied eight of his last nine holes in the Principal Charity Classic to complete a course-record 10-under par 62 to catch Parel, then defeated him on the second hole of a playoff at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I knew I had to shoot something really good,” Sutherland said. “I wasn’t really thinking about what the leaders were doing. I played really well the day before and I was just hoping to extend that momentum I had and I just got hot on the back. I hit some really good putts on the back nine. I hit a lot of good shots, but I had to make a lot of 10 footers, too.”
The victory was Sutherland’s second this year, his first also coming in a playoff with Parel, in the Rapiscan Systems Classic. It was the third win of his PGA Tour Champions career.
Parel began the tournament with rounds of 63-66 to take a five-stroke lead into Sunday. He shot a respectable two-under par 70, but missed a 12-foot birdie putt to win on the18th hole, then missed another 12-footer at 18 to win on the first playoff hole.
On the second playoff hole, again the 18th at Wakonda Club, Sutherland had virtually the same 12-foot birdie putt he had made at 18 in regulation and holed it for the victory.
His back nine of eight-under 28 included only a single par, when he missed a four-foot birdie putt at 16.
“The leader wasn’t really in my consideration, but I shot a great round of golf,” Sutherland said. “You never know. I feel for Scott. He played fantastic all week. He was leading the tournament literally from start to finish. I feel for him. But it worked out for me.”
Five years ago, int he Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic, Sutherland shot the first 59 in PGA Tour Champions history.