NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bernhard Langer outlasted Jay Haas in the Toshiba Classic on Sunday, birdieing the final hole of regulation to force a playoff and winning with a birdie when Haas missed a 3-footer on the seventh extra hole.
“You hate to get that far and not be able to finish it off,” said Haas, the 2007 winner. “I hit a pretty good putt. … I didn’t think I missed it.”
Langer, the 50-year-old German star who won the 1985 and 1993 Masters, has two victories in nine career Champions Tour starts. Last October, he won the Administaff Small Business Classic in Texas in his fourth event on the 50-and-over tour.
After bogeying the par-3 17th to drop a stroke behind, Langer made a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to force the playoff at 14-under 199. Haas closed with a 6-under 65, while Langer had a 69 on the Newport Beach Country Club course.
Both players two-putted from about 30 feet for birdies on the first extra hole, the 18th, then traded pars on the par-4 16th. On the third playoff hole, the 17th, Langer matched Haas’ par after driving into a greenside bunker.
The playoff then shifted back to 18, where both players made pars after hitting their second shots into greenside bunkers. They then traded birdies on 16, with Langer holing out from 28 feet and Haas answering from 13 feet.
“That was big. I had a feeling he would make it,” Langer said. “My putt was able to trickle in.”
After pars on 17, Langer finished off Haas with the birdie on No. 18.
The seven-hole playoff fell short of the tournament record of nine, set by Bob Murphy in a 1997 victory over Jay Sigel and matched in 2001 in Jose Maria Canizares’ victory over Gil Morgan. The Champions Tour record is 10, set in David Graham’ victory over Dave Stockton in the 1998 Royal Caribbean Classic.
Scott Simpson (65), Ben Crenshaw (67) and Gary McCord (67) tied for third at 11 under, and Curtis Strange (66) and first-round Tim Simpson (70) were 10 under.
Scott Hoch, coming off consecutive wins in Florida in the Allianz Championship and The ACE Group Classic, closed with a 67 to tie for 21st at 7 under.
Scotland’s Sandy Lyle shot a 71 to tie for 51st at even par in his Champions Tour debut. The two-time major champion turned 50 on Feb. 9.