Cameron Beckman carded a final-round, 4-under 68 to overtake 36-hole leader Ernie Els and win his first PGA Tour Champions title Sunday at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y.
With a two-shot lead, Beckman hit a tee shot at No. 18 at En-Joie Golf Club that sailed left and landed in a water hazard. But he saved his bogey to finish at 12 under after playing partner Els, of South Africa, missed a long birdie putt that could have forced a playoff.
Besides the $307,500 payout, Beckman’s win qualified him for next week’s U.S. Senior Open.
Beckman’s last professional win came more than 11 years ago on the PGA Tour, at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in February 2010.
Beckman, 51, shot ahead to 14 under for the event with a streak of five birdies from Nos. 10-14. Els played the same five-hole stretch 2 over, and Beckman had enough of a cushion over him and the rest of the field to absorb bogeys at Nos. 15 and 18.
Els entered Sunday with a three-stroke lead, but his putter failed him on his way to an even-par 72 and a second-place finish at 11 under.
“I can’t blame the greens. The greens were great,” Els said. “But I just — my feeling was they were just a bit slower. I had my chances, many chances. But I cannot complain. I played nice. I tried to fight right to the end.”
David Toms (final-round 67), South African Retief Goosen (66), Wes Short Jr. (68), Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez (69) and Paul Goydos (68) finished in a tie for third at 10 under. Goydos used five birdies to hang near the top of the leaderboard all afternoon before his only bogey of the day — on the 18th — pushed him out of contention.
Kirk Triplett, Germany’s Bernhard Langer (69) and Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke (70) tied for eighth at 9 under in the final tour event before the U.S. Senior Open, the fourth of five majors on the schedule. Omaha Country Club in Omaha, Neb., will host the event.
–Field Level Media
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