Waldorf wins Mitsubishi in dramatic style

Duffy Waldorf sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole to claim a one-stroke victory over Tom Lehman in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, the opening event of the Champions Tour season at Hualalai Golf course in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.

The 53-year-old Waldorf, who starred at Taft High in Woodland Hills and UCLA, closed with a 6-under-par 66 and became the second player to complete the 54-hole tournament without a bogey, joining John Cook, who did it in 2013.

“(The winning putt) was obviously 20 feet longer than I wanted,” said Waldorf, who claimed his first victory on the senior circuit in the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club last November after winning four times in the PGA Tour. “When I got to it, it just looked good. It looked like this putt doesn’t break at all. Sometimes you’d rather have a longer putt that you really feel good about the break.

” … I hate to say it, I feel like I’m finishing last year, too. I like keeping it going, which is exciting. I know the calendar’s changed but it’s great to get a win anywhere. I feel like it was not long ago I was winless and now to get two so quickly is super exciting.”

Lehman, who has won nine times on the Champions Tour, also closed with a 66, but after Waldorf holed out on the final hole, he left his 15-foot birdie putt to force a playoff a few inches short.

Davis Love III, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, shot 68 and was three shots back in solo third, while Jay Haas posted a 65 and was another stroke behind in a tie for fourth with Joe Durant, who came in at 68.

Fred Couples carded a bogey-free 66 and wound up five shots back in a tie for sixth with Kenny Perry, who had a 67, while Mark O’Meara of Mission Viejo and Long Beach State closed with a 69 to finish another stroke behind in a tie for eighth with Bernhard Langer of Germany, who had a 67, and Vijay Singh of Fiji, who totaled 68.


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