Kevin Sutherland shot 4-under 69 on Sunday at Tucson National to claim a two-shot victory at the Cologuard Classic.
Trailing by two shots to start the day, Sutherland fell four off the pace after leader Mike Weir birdied the par-5 eighth.
Sutherland, though, cut that four-shot deficit in half with birdies on Nos. 10 and 12. A chip-in gain on the par-3 16th, coupled with a bogey by Weir, gave Sutherland a share of the lead, while a birdie on the next hole moved him in front by one.
“I was two down with three to play, wasn’t really showing a lot, not really doing anything at that point and all of a sudden chip it in,” Sutherland said. “All of a sudden we’re tied and I played last two holes as well as I played any holes all week.”
Sutherland nearly made it three straight birdies, but settled for a par on the 18th to close out his second victory in his last three starts on the PGA Tour’s senior circuit. He finished 15 under, two clear of Weir, who dropped two late shots.
“Arizona has always been good to me,” said Sutherland, who won the Charles Schwab Championship in Phoenix last year. “I don’t know what it is about the air here.”
Steve Stricker (68) and Scott Parel (71) were T3 on 12 under.
Phil Mickelson’s bid to win his first three starts on the Champions Tour became the longest of long shots after a 72 on Saturday. Entering Sunday nine off the lead, a triple bogey on the par-4 ninth officially ended any chance of a miracle comeback for the five-time major winner. He signed for a 73 to finish T20 and 11 shots back.
Weir, who’d made as many bogeys (2) over his final three holes as he had on his first 44, was demoralized by his late collapse.
“I clearly didn’t strike it quite as good as the first two days, but I didn’t strike it poorly either,” said Weir, who hasn’t won on Tour since the 2007 Fry’s Electronics Open.
“I just didn’t really get much out of it. The front nine I did, but the back nine I didn’t get much out of it at all.”