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SLIDESHOW | Roberts wins Boeing Classic with tournament-record score
In the end it came down to the 18th hole.
Mark O’Meara started the Boeing Classic’s final round at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge on Sunday, Aug. 30, one stroke behind the leaders, but was tied for the lead after 16 holes thanks to eight birdies.
Trailing O’Meara, 52, in the lengthening shadows was Loren Roberts.
Both leaders had trouble on the 16th hole, and both came back to birdie on the 17th with strong drives over the water in front of the green.
However, O’Meara’s trouble on the 16th ended in a bogey on the short, par-4 hole when his second-shot caught on a bunker’s lip and fell back into the sand, missing the green.
Roberts, 54, showed his usual prowess in putting during the tournament except for the 16th, where he missed his putt for par.
Walking up the long, par-5 18th hole, O’Meara couldn’t help but see Roberts’ birdie on the previous hole. A fairway bunker held O’Meara to par on the final hole.
Roberts played aggressively down the left side with three strong shots on the final hole to put him 50 yards out of the green. Using a wedge, he hit a low shot that wavered on the fringe and then rolled to within a few feet from the cup.
O’Meara was already preparing on the driving range for a possible playoff as Roberts walked confidently onto the green, where he dropped in his final putt to clinch first place with a tournament-record 18-under 198 in front of 30,000 fans.
“I’ve been playing the 3-wood really good,” Roberts said of his play on the final hole.
He spent extra time on the driving range on Saturday, he said.
The win, worth $270,000, was his third title of the season and his 11th career win on the 50-and-older Champions Tour.
O’Meara’s last win on a PGA Tour-sanctioned event was the 1998 British Open. He won the Masters Tournament that same year. He won a European PGA event in Dubai in 2004.
Roberts said his shot off the tee on the 17th was probably his best of the weekend.
He started Sunday sharing the lead with Mike McNulty and Bernhard Langer, who ran into trouble on the back nine holes.
Dan Forsman and Langer tied for third at 14 under.
McNulty had trouble from the start, quickly fading from contention to finish eighth.
Hal Sutton, 51, shot a tournament-best 63 on Sunday, ending with an eagle on the final hole.
He finished fifth, his second-best showing on the Champions Tour.
Two-time champion Tom Kite finished tied for 16th with five under. He never really got going during the tournament. His frustration was apparent on the golf course on Sunday.
The tournament also set a record for attendance, drawing an estimated 67,500 over three days.