Kevin Sutherland picked a good time to capture his first-ever Champions Tour title.
On Sunday, the 53-year old Californian shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 at Phoenix Country Club to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
With 36-hole leader Paul Goydos struggling in the final round, Sutherland was the man to beat early on, and after he turned in 33, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 7th hole, all eyes were on the Fresno State product.
A conservative inward nine of eight pars and one birdie got the one-time PGA Tour winner to 15 under for the tournament, and one clear of Vijay Singh (63) and Lee Janzen (68).
“It’s amazing. I mean, the names on this trophy are incredible. I’ve seen it, and to be on that list is just, I can’t even put words to it, it’s just amazing,” said a somewhat-stunned Sutherland. “I played really well all year and I just couldn’t find a way to get a win. So to win this
tournament, it’s unbelievable.”
With his maiden win, Sutherland also took home the “season-long” Charles Schwab Cup and its $1 million bonus, edging Bernhard Langer, who won seven times on the season and amassed nearly 3 million more points than Sutherland, until last week’s resetting of points.
“Everybody in the field was given a chance to win. Is it fair? No, it’s not, but that’s how it is right now. We might revisit in the future,” said Langer, who was a member of the policy board that approved the resetting of points.
Langer, who finished his three rounds in Phoenix at 10 under and T12, claimed the second place prize in the points race, and secured a bonus check for $500,000.
John Daly shot a final-round 65 to move up to T4, alongside David Frost (67) and David Toms (67) at 13 under.
TOP 10: TOURNAMENT
1 Kevin Sutherland -15
2 Vijay Singh -14
2 Lee Janzen -14
4 John Daly -13
4 David Frost -13
4 David Toms -13
7 Brandt Jobe -12
7 Billy Mayfair -12
9 Wes Short, Jr. -11
9 Scott McCarron -11
9 Paul Goydos -11
SCHWAB CUP BONUSES
1 Kevin Sutherland – $1M
2 Bernhard Langer – $500K
3 Scott McCarron – $300K
4 Kenny Perry – $200K
5 Vijay Singh – $100K
“I played fantastic. I hit the ball consistently well all year. It’s just been something I’ve been doing really well all year, so it just seems like when I get a chance to putt, I putt pretty well, I get a good chance to win and I had a lot of good chances this year.
“I did putt well this year, and sometimes down the stretch I missed some putts that I would like to have back. But it didn’t matter today, so it’s all good. But I just hit the ball really well all year and that was the key to my success.”
–Kevin Sutherland, 2017 Charles Schwab Cup Champion
Phoenix Country Club | Phoenix, AZ | Nov. 12, 2017
|T9||Wes Short, Jr.||-11||$67,500|
|T27||Tommy Armour III||-6||$18,250|