DAVID TOMS has broken his senior tour cherry in a big way, taking out the 37th US Senior Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs after a final round dogfight.
Any one of half a dozen golfers could have taken out the 2018 event coming down the stretch but it was the 51 year old Toms who managed to sink a couple of crucial putts to get to 3-under and take the championship by a single stroke.
It was Toms’ first tour victory of any kind since he won the Crowne Plaza Invitational in 2011, capping a US PGA TOUR career tally of 13 wins.
That tally included his only major, the 2001 PGA Championship when a smart up and down for par on the last saw him beat Phil Mickelson by a stroke.
He did something similar on Sunday, firstly sinking a birdie putt on the 16th to edge one clear of the field and then holing a rolling 19 footer on the 17th for a crucial par save.
His two putt par on the last was enough to shade a talented trio who shared second place – Miguel Angel Jimizez, Tim Petrovic and Jerry Kelly.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve held a trophy,” said Toms, who handn’t won in seven years on either the main or senior tour.
“I didn’t have the patience to win a U.S. Open earlier in my career,” Toms said. “I got better at it as my career went on. I never won one, but got close.”
It was Toms’ 4-under 66 in Saturday’s third round that sent him into the final day in position to win. His final round consisted of 16 pars, a bogey at the par-4 13th and that birdie at the 16th.
“I looked at the leaderboard and knew I had to make a birdie there because the 17th was a tough hole,” Toms said. “I had a straight uphill putt, so I knew I could hit it firm going up the mountain. I hit it right in the middle.”
Toms is in his second season on the US Champions Tour, with his previous best in 34 starts a tied second place finish in the Chubb Classic in February.
Aussies McKenzie and Fowler fight on
Australia’s David McKenzie finished at T28 on 9-over after a final round 72, while our only other starter was veteran Peter Fowler who stumbled with a 76 in the final round to close at T49 on 14-over.