Montgomerie defeats Sauers in U.S. Senior Open playoff

 

The Sports Network

Edmond, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Colin Montgomerie defeated Gene Sauers in a 3-hole playoff on Sunday with an aggregate score of 1-over to capture the title of the U.S. Senior Open.

Montgomerie carded a 2-under 74 to meet Sauers at 5-under-par 279 after the third-round leader tripped to a 2-over 73 during his final round at Oak Tree National.

Montgomerie then outlasted Sauers to collect his second career major victory on the Champions Tour. He also won the Senior PGA Championship in May, which was his first major championship.

David Frost (70) and Woody Austin (70) shared third place at 1-under, while Vijay Singh (73), Jeff Sluman (73) and Marco Dawson (73) tied for fifth at even-par 284.

Kirk Triplett (69) finished alone in eighth at 1-over, a shot ahead of Bernhard Langer (77), Joe Durant (67), Peter Senior (72) and Scott Dunlap (77).

Sauers held the lead for the majority of the day until a bogey at the 16th dropped him into a tie with Montgomerie at 5-under. After a par at the 17th, Sauers had a chance to claim the outright win with about a 10-foot birdie putt at the last, but his putt rolled off the right edge of the hole and he tapped in for par to force the playoff.

"I gave it my best," Sauers said about his missed putt at the 18th. "I didn't play enough break. I hit a good putt and it just broke right at the hole the last second."

The playoff took place on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes and both players found a bunker off the tee at the 16th en route to a pair of bogeys.

Montgomerie gained his advantage at the par-3 17th, where Sauers missed the green with his tee shot before Montgomerie stuck his about 20 feet from the hole.

Sauers then rolled his next shot off the back end of the green and 2-putted for bogey. Montgomerie failed to convert his birdie effort, but a par was good enough to give him a 1-shot lead heading into the third extra hole.

Both players came up short of the green at the 18th and Sauers seemed to have the advantage there when he chipped his third to about five feet after Montgomerie flubbed his 20 feet short of the hole.

Montgomerie, however, sealed the win when his par putt found the center of the cup.

"This is a great, great golf course and very, very difficult," said Montgomerie. "If anybody thinks these senior majors are easy to win, believe me come out here and try it. It's a great standard of golf out here."

Sauers entered the day three strokes ahead of Dunlap and Langer, and Montgomerie made it a 3-way tie for second with a birdie at the second.

All three eventually dropped a shot to hand Sauers a 4-shot advantage as Langer bogeyed the first, Dunlap bogeyed the third and Montgomerie bogeyed the third, dropping them all to 4-under.

A 2-shot swing at the third then dropped Sauers' advantage to just two strokes as he tripped to a bogey at the hole to fall to 6-under and his playing partner Langer rolled in a birdie to move back to minus-4.

But Langer gave that shot right back at the fourth to again leave Sauers three clear of the field.

Montgomerie was next to break from the pack with a birdie at the fifth and after Sauers failed to convert about a 6-foot par putt at the fifth to cut his lead to just one, Montgomerie birdied the seventh to claim a share of the lead at 5-under.

Sauers, however, answered with a birdie at the seventh to reclaim the outright lead at minus-6.

Montgomerie traded a bogey at the 12th with a birdie at the 13th to remain at 5-under and he parred his final five holes to finish there and earn his way into the playoff when Sauers dropped a shot at the 16th.

NOTES: Montgomerie joins Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin and Roger Chapman as the only players to win the Senior PGA and U.S. Senior Open in the same year ... Montgomerie also joined Roger Chapman as the players whose first two wins on the Champions Tour came at majors. Chapman won the Senior PGA Championship and the U.S. Senior Open in 2012 ... Montgomerie collected $630,000 with the victory and is now second on the money list behind Langer.

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