CALIFORNIA’S Kevin Sutherland broke through for his first US Champions Tour win in the season ending Charles Schwab Championship and due to a quirk in the system also took out the “season long” Charles Schwab Cup on the weekend.
Sutherland did have a consistent year of near misses on the over 50’s circuit but how his one win in the final can pip Langer’s seven wins, including two of the three playoff events, is beyond my mathematical limitations.
They do reset the points for the final, something like the FedEx Cup system, but something does seem a little awry there.
The 53 year old Sutherland certainly deserved his win on the day, closing with a 5-under 66 Sunday at the Phoenix Country Club to get to 15-under in the 54 hole event, one in front of Vijay Singh (63) and Lee Janzen (68).
Langer stormed home with a 64 but his 10-under total and T12 finish after a superb season didn’t impress the system.
“I don’t even know. It’s like a whirlwind thing. It’s amazing,” said Sutherland. “I mean, the names on this trophy are incredible. I’ve seen it, and to be on that list is just, I can’t even put words to it, it’s just amazing.”
Sutherland had 15 top-10 finishes this season, finishing second three times and third twice. He had 77 previous starts on the tour without a win. He had just one win in his career on the US PGA TOUR, taking the 2002 WGC -Accenture Match Play Championship.
Langer had led the tour this year with seven victories, winning three of the five majors, and set an earnings record with $3,677,359. The 60-year-old German has never won the season-ending event but was going for a record fourth straight Schwab Cup.
He finished second in the final tally but didn’t complain about the outcome, saying it was meant to be a playoff system.
“I have to pinch myself,” Langer said. “Just got to be really grateful and thankful.”