SAUCIER, Miss. (AP) — David Eger won the inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic for his first Champions Tour title since 2005, closing with a 3-under 69 in rainy, windy conditions Sunday for a one-stroke victory.
Eger, the 58-year-old former USGA and PGA Tour executive who was a longtime amateur star, made a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 16 to take a two-stroke lead, an extra stroke he needed after bogeying the 18th to finish at 11 under.
Tommy Armour III shot a 67 to finish second. He three-putted from 60 feet for a bogey on the par-3 17th, and finished with a par.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Eger said after accepting the $240,000 winner’s check, his first in 118 events, for his third Champions Tour title.
“A year or two go by after your previous win, you don’t know – as the birthdays continue to fly by – if you’re ever going to do this again.”
The 50-year-old Armour, who won on the PGA Tour in 1990 and 2003, lamented some putting woes that likely cost him his first Champions Tour triumph.
“The greens are a little tricky. The putts move around the hole,” Armour said. “Tom Watson told me a long time ago, ‘Even great putters miss putts.’ You know, in 54 holes, you’re going to miss a putt.”
Eger, also the winner of the 2003 MasterCard Classic and 2005 Boeing Greater Seattle Classic, began the final round in a three-way tie with Brad Bryant and David Frost. Frost faded with a 2-over 74 and tied for seventh at 6 under, while Bryant struggled to a 3-over 75 that left him tied for ninth at 5 under.
A number of players appeared bothered by intermittent rain and wind gusts reaching 30 mph. Eger, who opened with consecutive 68s, was the only player to break 70 in all three rounds.
“I had the mindset that we were going to play, and we were going to play in crappy weather again,” Eger said, referring to Saturday’s windy conditions. “Fortunately, you know, I held it together.”
After a par on the first hole, he made a 15-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 third and added birdies on Nos. 6, 8, 12 and 13, holing an 18-foot putt on the 12th.
Tom Kite (69) was third at 8 under, a stroke ahead of David Peoples (68), Mark James (69) and Fred Funk (69).