Mark Calcavecchia Wins Champions Tour Event in Iowa

June 8, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Mark Calcavecchia won the Principal Charity Classic on Sunday for his third career Champions Tour title, closing with a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory over Joe Durant and Brian Henninger.

Wearing bacon-themed pants and using a putter he bought from an Iowa sporting goods store, Calcavecchia never trailed during the final round at the Wakonda Club. The 13-time PGA Tour winner, who missed the cut in the Senior PGA Championship two weeks ago, finished at 12-under 204.

”It’s kind of out of nowhere. I’m kind of in a little state of shock right now,” said Calcavecchia, the 1989 British Open champion.

Durant shot a 69, missing a long birdie putt on the 18th hole. Henninger had a 68.

Davis Love III had a 68 to top the group at 9 under. He was making his fourth Champions Tour start since turning 50 in April 2014.

Calcavecchia picked up his first win since a gruesome injury to his right hand in November that left him wondering if his career was finished.

”It still bothers me. I wake up and these fingers hurt,” Calcavecchia said. ”But I get out there and start playing. … I kind of get over the pain and forget about it.”

In his second-round 77 at the Senior PGA Championship two weeks ago, Calcavecchia had a bit of a tantrum, breaking two clubs on the par-5 ninth hole. He stopped by a local golf shop earlier in the week, grabbed a putter he liked and sank a dozen in a row on the store’s putting green.

The new putter was a hit on the course as well, helping Calcavecchia pick up his first Champions Tour win since 2012.

The player who appeared to have the best shot at overtaking Calcavecchia was Love- but he fell apart down the stretch.

Love, playing in just his second senior event of the year, birdied four out of five holes and pulled within a shot of Calcavecchia with three holes to play. But he bogeyed the par-4 16th after a chip try barely went a few feet.

Love then sent his tee shot on No. 17 into some rocks and had to take a penalty. He wound up with a double bogey.

”I got a little bit going on the back nine, obviously, and gave myself a chance,” Love said. ”I just needed to keep getting birdie putts. Missing the green at 16 and 17 just killed me.”