CARY, N.C. (AP) – Bernhard Langer rallied to win the SAS Championship on Sunday to take the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup points race, shooting a 9-under 63 to beat Jay Don Blake by two strokes.
Four shots back entering the final round, Langer birdied the final two holes to finish at 13-under 203 at Prestonwood Country Club. The German star has two victories this year and 16 overall on the 50-and-over tour.
“I knew I had to go deeper and lower to make up some ground,'' Langer said. “And thank goodness … it was 9 under because Jay Don came very close to tie me.
“So a lot of good golf, probably only two bad shots and everything else was good or really good.''
Blake closed with a 68. He needed a birdie on the par-4 18th to force a playoff, but hit a tree with his drive and bogeyed the hole. Mark Wiebe also shot 68 to finish third at 10 under.
“Probably the rhythm that I was in wasn't very good because I was just making pars; Bernhard was making all the birdies,'' Blake said. “You just feel like you have to be more aggressive. But sometimes being aggressive doesn't always work out. Trying to be too aggressive on 18 kind of hurt me.''
Langer's last victory came at the 3M Championship in Minnesota, in which he rallied from six strokes down with a 10-under 62 on the final day.
Langer took a 69-point lead over Tom Lehman in the points race for a $1 million annuity. Lehman skipped the tournament. The bogey-free 63 was the best final round by a winner in the history of the tournament.
Langer, who earned $315,000 and leads the Champions Tour money list with $1,818,896, had 11 one-putts during his round, including five of his last six holes.
“This week was pretty neat to have won from being four behind and played the round that I played today to take over the Schwab Cup lead, to take over the money list, leading in the money list,'' Langer said. “Those are big goals of mine that I set at the beginning of the year, and obviously it's not done, but I'm a little closer to maybe achieving it.''
The start of play was delayed 90 minutes because of rain.