It would be easy to say Tom Lehman won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai because David Toms three-putted the final hole. That would also be a gross mischaracterization.
The 59-year-old Lehman captured his 12th title on the PGA Tour Champions (including three senior majors) because he played near-flawless golf, playing bogey-free over the final 43 holes and carding just two bogeys for the week, tied for fewest in the field. A final-round 65 erased a four-shot deficit that he started the day with.
For the week Lehman hit 43 of 54 greens in regulation, tied for second in the field. He also did well on the greens, ranking fifth in putts per green in regulation. Lehman used three birdies over a four-hole stretch (Nos. 13 through 16) to catch Toms before prevailing at the last when Toms missed a six-foot putt that would have sent the event into overtime.
“My putting really helped me,” said Lehman afterward.
The putter Lehman used is Odyssey’s O-Works Exo 7, a multi-material putter with a 17-4 stainless steel outer frame and a lighter aluminum midsection. By having heavier material on the outer parts of the putter, the moment of inertia (or forgiveness on mis-hits) increases. Not that Lehman needed a ton of help in that regard.
“I played about as well as I could have played,” he said.
What Tom Lehman had in the bag at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic, 10.5 degrees
Hybrids: Tour Edge Exotics CBX (16, 18 degrees)
Irons (4): TaylorMade Tour Preferred; (5-8): TaylorMade Burner; (9): TaylorMade MC Forged 11; (PW): Ping iBlade
Putter: Odyssey O-Works Exo 7