Fred Couples (pictured by Getty Images) performed his magic twice on the 18th hole on Sunday at the 2014 Shaw Charity Classic, the second earning him his 11thcareer victory on the Champions Tour. After Couples and Billy Andrade made eagles on the 54th hole to get into a playoff, Couples ended the affair on the first extra hole when he hit his third shot to within a foot after laying up. Moments earlier, Andrade’s second shot from the fairway flew into a sky box off the left side of No. 18. After taking a drop, he chipped to 30 feet and then watched helplessly as his putt for birdie just slid by the left side of the hole. Couples calmly stepped up and sank his winning putt. Couples set a new course record in the final round with his bogey-free 9-under-par 61, while Andrade matched his career low round on Tour with a 62. He also had a 62 at the 1995 Canon Greater Hartford Open.
With his win, Fred Couples wins for the 11th time on the Champions Tour and it marked the 35th time a player had played all 54 holes without a bogey on Tour. Of those 35, 18 players have gone on to win the event, including Couples.
Fred Couples’ 9-under-par 61 broke the course mark set by Bill Glasson in 2013 and later matched by Tom Pernice, Jr., and Bart Bryant.
Fred Couples is also the fourth player to play all 54 holes bogey-free on Tour this year, joining Jay Haas (Toshiba Classic), Kirk Triplett/Craig Stadler (Big Cedars Lodge Legends of Golf) and Bernhard Langer (Dick’s Sporting Goods Open). Langer won the event, while Haas was T12 and Triplett/Stadler finished T3.
Fred Couples also became the fourth multiple winner on the Champions Tour. The others to win multiple titles are Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Kenny Perry. All but Perry are members of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
This also marks the fourth time in five seasons on the Champions Tour that Couples has won multiple events in a season, and the fifth time in as many seasons he has surpassed the $1 million mark in season earnings.
Fred Couples was 10-under-par on the par-5 holes this week, including three eagles.
Going back to last week’s Boeing Classic, Fred Couples had just one bogey over his last 76 holes and that came on No. 13 on Sunday.
Fred Couples also picked up 338 points in the Charles Schwab Cup race and moved into sixth place in the standings with 1,119 points. Bernhard Langer continues to lead with 3,624 points followed by Colin Montgomerie with 2,991. Kenny Perry is third with 1,495 and Jay Haas is fourth with 1,480. Jeff Sluman currently is in fifth place with 1,313.
Steve Lowery’s T3 finish was his best performance on the Champions Tour in 80 starts. His previous best outing came two weeks ago at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open where he was T4.
Joe Daley finished T3 and it was his best finish in the Champions Tour event since winning the 2012 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship.
Current Charles Schwab Cup leader posted a final-round 2-over-par 72 and slipped to a T27 finish after entering the final round just two strokes off the pace. It was his lowest finish since he was T31 at last year’s Principal Charity Classic and it was only the third time in third time in 18 starts this year he has not finished in the top 10.
Woody Austin continues to play some of his best golf on the Champions Tour since making his first appearance at the U.S. Senior Open in July. He finished T3 in Oklahoma, was T2 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, T5 last week at the Boeing Classic and sixth in Calgary. In those four starts, Austin has earned $521,095, an average of $130,095 per start. He could well be on his way to earning a spot in the season’s final event, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Arizona which features the top 30 players on the 2014 money list. Austin is currently 25th.
Woody Austin, Steve Lowery, David Frost and Mark Mouland led all players with 18 birdies.
Mark Mouland earned his first top-10 finish of the 2014 campaign. It was his seventh start this season.
Rookie Wes Short, Jr., closed with a 6-under-par 64to finish fifth, his best showing on the Champions Tour.
Willie Wood made a hole-in-one on #5 on Sunday, using an 8-iron from 157 yards. It was the first of his Champions Tour career and fourth in tournament history. Brian Cairns had aced the same hole on Friday.
Wood is no stranger to aces. He made seven during his PGA TOUR career. Here is a list of his previous hole-in-ones.
1987 Georgia-Pacific Atlanta Golf Classic
1993 Hardee’s Classic
1994 Northern Telecom Open
1995 B.C. Open
1998 Kemper Open
2003 Fed Ex St. Jude Classic
2004 John Deere Classic
Weather: A mix of sun and clouds with highs in the mid-60s and WSW winds at 5-10 mph.
Final Golf Leaderboard:
1. Fred Couples 68-66-61—195/-15
2. Billy Andrade 67-66-62—195/-15
T3. Steve Lowery 66-67-64—197/-13
T3. Joe Daley 64-66-67—197/-13
5. Wes Short, Jr. 69-65-64—198/-12
6. Woody Austin 65-67-67—199/-11
Source: PGA TOUR