Fred Couples shoots a 61, then wins playoff in Champions Tour event
Seattle native Fred Couples won the 50-and-older Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta, in dramatic fashion. Couples chipped in for an eagle on No. 18 for a course-record, 9-under 61 and beat Billy Andrade with a tap-in birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
The Associated Press
CALGARY, Alberta – Seattle native Fred Couples won the 50-and-older Champions Tour’s Shaw Charity Classic in dramatic fashion Sunday.
Couples chipped in for an eagle on No. 18 for a course-record, 9-under-par 61 and beat Billy Andrade with a tap-in birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
“It never came into my mind about winning the tournament until really, maybe the 15th, 16th holes,” said Couples, four strokes back entering the round.
Couples, 54, also eagled the par-5 11th hole and had five birdies in his third straight bogey-free round at Canyon Meadows.
“No bogeys is good,” Hall of Famer Couples said. “I consider this to be a nice, tricky, tough little course.”
Andrade shot a 62, making a short eagle putt on the par-5 18th to match Couples at 15 under.
Couples, who earned $337,500, holed out from about 40 feet for the eagle on the last hole of regulation play.
“I landed it right where I wanted to,” he said. “It was going a little fast, but it obviously hit the pin and went in.”
Couples has won 11 times on the Champions Tour. The 1992 Masters champion has 15 PGA Tour victories.
Jeff Coston (64), a teaching pro from Blaine, tied for 27th place at 6 under. Kirk Triplett (70), a Pullman High School graduate, tied for 55th at 1 under.
• Russell Henley made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch on his way to a 6-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship going into a Labor Day finish in Norton, Mass., loaded with possibilities.
Henley was at 12-under 201 in the second of four FedEx Cup tournaments. Billy Horschel (67) was at 11 under.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy (64), Chris Kirk (64) and Jason Day (69) were tied for third at 10 under in the PGA Tour event.
A group tied for 27th at 4 under included Michael Putnam (68), who is from University Place, and Kevin Chappell (68), who owns a home in Kirkland.
Ryan Moore (74) of Puyallup was tied for 67th at 4 over.
• Austin Ernst won the LPGA Tour Portland Classic with a par on the first hole of a playoff against I.K. Kim.
It was the first pro victory for Ernst, 22, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to get to 14-under 274 at Columbia Edgewater.
Kim, the first- and second-round leader, carded a 68.
Ernst earned $195,000 for the victory.