Gene Sauers finished second in the Allianz Championship, shooting a 5-under-par 67 on the final day to finish at 11-under 205 in the three-round Champions Tour event on The Old Course at Broken Sound.
Sauer, 52, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, won $149,600 for his efforts.
Starting several groups in front of winner Paul Goydos’ group, Sauers was the leader in the clubhouse for a while. Actually, he never was in the clubhouse, going to the range as he waited for Goydos to determine his fate.
“Actually, I never really thought I had a chance,” Sauers said of a possible playoff. “Eighteen is an easy hole, and I knew [Goydos] was going to make birdie.”
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Sauers took everything in stride.
“I played well and hit the ball solid,” he said. “I’m pleased for the first event out. I’m just trying to knock the rust off.”
Sauers said he would try to make his way into the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic through qualifying.
For a guy who hasn’t played any competitive golf in a year and a half, John Huston exceeded all expectations in the Allianz.
Huston had rounds of 72-68-66 to finish in a three-way tie for third at 10-under 206.
“I played really, really well,” Huston said. “I had no expectations coming in.”
What in particular surprised him? “I had no idea my short game would be that sharp,” he said.
Huston has had a long-existing neck condition that finally became too much for him more than a year ago. At one point, one of the options was brain surgery, but he declined.
He said he’s happy to be back playing, saying, “I was off for a long time, and I don’t have a lot of hobbies that take up time.”
▪ Defending Allianz champion Michael Allen finished in a tie for third, the best finish by a defending champion in tournament history.