Monty claims U.S. Senior Open in playoff

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the third hole of an aggregate playoff to beat Gene Sauers and win the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 100-degree heat at Oak Tree National in Edmond, Okla.

Montgomerie, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who has won 43 times in his career but didn’t claim a major title of any kind until the Senior PGA Championship in May, closed with a 2-under-par 69.

“I’ve always wanted to win a USGA event, and that was my third playoff in a USGA tournament,” said Monty, who lost U.S. Open playoffs to Ernie Els in 1994 at Oakmont and 1997 at Congressional. “I guess the third time is lucky.

“All credit to Gene Sauers for holding on. This is a great golf course and a very difficult one. It’s great to win here and it’s been a great summer for me so far.”

Montgomerie became the fifth player to win the U.S. Senior Open and Senior PGA Championship in the same year, joining Gary Player in 1988, Jack Nicklaus in 1991, Hale Irwin in 1998 and Roger Chapman two years ago.

Sauers, who nearly died of a rare skin disease three years ago and was trying to win for the first time since the 2002 Air Canada Championship on the PGA Tour, started the final round with a three-stroke lead but closed with a 73 and missed a seven-foot putt on the 72nd hole that would have given him the victory.

David Frost of South Africa closed with a 70 and finished four shots back in a tie for third with Woody Austin, who also had a 70.

Vijay Singh of Fiji, who won three majors on the PGA Tour and was playing in his first Grand Slam event on the Champions Tour, finished with a 73 and tied for fifth with Marco Dawson and Jeff Sluman, who also came in with 73s.

Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, who has won three majors on the Champions Tour, struggled to a 77 and tied for ninth.


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