Mark Calcavecchia wins Montreal Championship
Mark Calcavecchia has one more reason to like Canada.
Calcavecchia won the $1.8 million US Montreal Championship on Sunday for his second Champions Tour win, matching the course record with an 8-under 64 for a two-stroke victory.
The 52-year-old had six birdies and chipped in for eagle on the par-5 16th hole on Richelieu Valley's 6,950-yard Vercheres Course. He finished at 16-under 200.
The 1989 British Open champion, Calcavecchia claimed two of his 13 PGA Tour victories in Vancouver, including the 1997 Greater Vancouver Open and the 2005 Canadian Open. He set a PGA record with nine straight birdies at the 2009 Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.
"I've always liked Canada, even in the early years when we played Glen Abbey every year," Calcavecchia said. "I had some good tournaments there in my early days. One of my fondest memories my first few years on the tour, I made the cut in the Canadian Open and I played the third round with Tom Weiskopf and Jack Nicklaus, so I thought that was pretty cool. I'll never forget that."
Calcavecchia, a native of Tequesta, Fla., followed up Friday's 69 with a 67 on Saturday. He claimed the US$270,000 top prize, beating out Brad Bryant, who shot a 7-under 65 to finish 12 under 204 through 54 holes.
"Calc is such a great front runner that you kind of know, he gets his momentum going and he's really hard to catch," Bryant said. "I made nine birdies today and I'll bet he made more than I did, so it's hard to know. He's amazing that way."
Calcavecchia, who made his 48th Champions Tour start, also won the Boeing Classic last August.
"I made some nice four-footers for pars, which were nice," Calcavecchia said. "I get a little shaky on those on occasion and for some reason today I just felt good on them, and then that 16th happened and I figured that even if I bogeyed the last two holes, I'd be fine, which I was.
"Actually, at 17 I hit a bad iron into the green and then I had a Tiger Woods thought. I didn't want to make any bogeys. It would have been easy to just kind of go ahead and miss that putt, make a bogey and who knows what on the last hole, but I really wanted to keep the round clean. I only made two bogeys all week so I thought that playing this golf course all weekend without a bogey was pretty good."
He is the third different Montreal Championship winner. Larry Mize, who won the inaugural edition of the event in 2010, tied for 20th at 3-under 213. John Cook, last year's champion, finished in a five-way tie for 15th at 4-under 212.
Opening-round leader Russ Cochran and Bob Tway, the leader through 36 holes, finished in a tie for third at 11 under 205.
Champions Tour money leader Michael Allen took over the Charles Schwab Cup standings lead. Allen, the only golfer to win two tour events this season, birdied the 18th hole to raise his season total to 1,120 points, five ahead of Bernhard Langer, who finished in a tie for 23rd on Sunday in the BMW International Open in Cologne.
Allen, who has earned $1.150 million, finished six strokes back in a tie for fifth with Jay Don Blake.
Tway, who followed up Saturday's 65 with a 2-under 70, has yet to win in 60 Champions Tour starts. He has not won in 207 tournaments overall since he won the 2003 Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ont.
Jim Rutledge of Victoria shot a 69 to finish 3-under 213 and overtake Rod Spittle as the top Canadian among the six entered in the field of 81 senior golfers.
Spittle, who shot a tournament-record 62 on the final day of last year's tournament, finished even at 216 after shooting a four over 76. The native of Niagara Falls, Ont., was in a four-way tie for second through 18 holes after shooting a 68 on Friday. He dropped to a tie for 12th Saturday after shooting a 72 in the second round before falling to 39th Sunday.
Marc Girouard, who set the 1997 course record that Calcavecchia tied Sunday, had the top finish among the four Quebeckers competing in the event. Girouard, a native of St. Sauveur, Que., shot a 72 to finish 3-over at 219.
Yvan Beauchemin of Louiseville, Que., finished at 6-over 222. Blainville's Claude Tremblay, who recorded the three-year-old tournament's first hole-in-one on Friday, was 14-over 230, and Jean Laforce of St. Gabriel de Brandon, Que., finished 22-over 237.