THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Colin Montgomerie won the Invesco QQQ Championship on Sunday with a par on the first hole of a playoff after fellow Hall of Famer Bernhard Langer took four strokes to get out of a greenside bunker.
With Langer finally on the par-4 18th green in six shots, Montgomerie two-putted for the victory, with the 56-year-old Scot tapping in from 2 feet to end the second of three events in the PGA Tour Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup playoffs.
“How often does that happen with Bernhard?” Montgomerie said. “I felt for him in that bunker there. It was on the upslope there. The downslope was awful. Look how deep that is. It’s big hole. Unfortunate for Bernhard.”
Playing five groups ahead of Langer, Montgomerie made a 40-foot birdie putt in regulation on 18 for a tournament-record 9-under 63.
“The one at the last was a massive bonus,” said Montgomerie, five strokes back at the start of the day.
Langer parred the final four holes for a 67, leaving a 15-foot birdie try short on 18. They finished at 15-under 202.
Both players found the narrow fairway in the playoff, with Langer leaving himself 191 yards to the hole – about 35 more than he had in regulation. His approach caught the left greenside bunker, leaving an awkward stance with the back lip of the bunker hindering his swing.
“It was a downhill lie with a big lip in front,” Langer said. “It’s hell down there. You just can’t go down there. That bunker’s built very poorly. …. Just faded to the right. I was overaggressive. I was trying to make birdie and just pushed it about 5 yards.”
Montgomerie then hit his 174-yard approach to the middle of the green, leaving about 20 feet.
Montgomerie won for the seventh time on the 50-and-over tour.
The 62-year-old Langer has 40 senior victories, winning a playoff at Sherwood in 2017.
“It’s been a good week, played some good golf, played good at Richmond, played good here, so that’s encouraging,” Langer said. “Finished fourth and second last two tournaments, so looking forward to next week. That’s all you can do. Playoff, I made one bad shot and paid the price. That was the worst place you could hit it. Anywhere left I have a shot down there.”
Montgomerie birdied four of the first five holes, chipped in for birdie on No. 10 and eagle on No. 11 and also birdied the 16th.
“Eleven was key,” Montgomerie said. “Ten, when I chipped in at 10 was a very good chip, but kept me going. Eleven, hang on, I’m suddenly leading. From third, fourth, suddenly boom, I’m leading now. So, there’s a whole different feeling.”
Retief Goosen and Tommy Tolles were a stroke back.
Goosen, the second-round leader, shot a 69. He missed a 12-foot birdie try on 18.
“I didn’t play that well today,” Goosen said. “Putter was a bit cold, made a few bad mistakes.”
Tolles closed with a 66.
The top 36 in the season standings advanced to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship next week in Phoenix. Points leader Scott McCarron closed with a 77 to tie for 43rd at even par. Second-place Jerry Kelly shot 66 to tie for 10th at 8 under.
Montgomerie jumped from 12th to fourth, and Langer from fourth to third.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, the winner two weeks ago in the playoff opener in Virginia, closed with a 69 to tie for fifth at 11 under with Billy Andrade (64) and Ken Tanigawa (65).
Fred Couples, a stroke behind Goosen entering the round, had a 72 to tie for eighth at 9 under. The 60-year-old Couples won the last of his 13 Champions titles in 2017.
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