BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) Scott McCarron eagled the par-5 18th hole Sunday to win the Allianz Championship for his third PGA Champions Tour victory in his last 17 starts.
The 51-year-old McCarron hit a 7-iron shot from 179 yards to 6 feet to set up the eagle, his second of the day after an 80-foot putt on the par-5 seventh. He closed with a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Kenny Perry and Carlos Franco.
”All wins are exciting, but this one, to be able to finish it off the way I did, really something special,” McCarron said. ”It was a very good day. I stayed very patient.”
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McCarron finished at 17-under 199 on The Old Course at Broken Sound. He opened with consecutive 66s to take a share of the lead into the final round.
The three-time PGA Tour winner hit the shot of the week to set up the winning eagle.
”As soon as I hit it, I couldn’t see it at all, just went right in the sun, so I had no idea, but it felt good,” McCarron said. ”It was one of those that just felt right on the button and I was able to hear the crowd cheering and I knew it was at least inside 10 feet and I was pleasantly surprised to get up there and see it was only about 6 feet straight up the hill.
”I got up there to hit that putt. I was away and Joe (Durant) was there and Doug (Garwood) was there, but they weren’t ready to go and so I stepped up there and didn’t take much time just like I always do and hit it.”
The putt was perfect.
”I knew it was in,” McCarron said. ”It was kind of a left-center putt and 6 feet straight up the hill. I got my line lined up, went right through my routine, very calm and stroked it just the way I wanted to. As soon as I hit it, I knew I made it. Again, it’s just one of those things when you’re on and you can feel that, it’s a great feeling and today I had that.”
The former UCLA player won the Principal Charity Classic in June in Iowa for his first senior title, and took the Dominion Charity Classic in November in Virginia.
Franco shot a 65, and Perry had a 66, with each making birdie on 18.
”I lost the tournament yesterday on the last five holes. That’s what killed me,” Perry said. ”I missed about a 4-footer on 17 for birdie and I three-putted 14 and missed about a 2 1/2-footer. You just can’t do stuff like that. That’s OK. You’ve got to start somewhere. You’ve got to take baby steps.”
Garwood (69) and Paul Broadhurst (64) were 15 under.
Fred Couples had a 69 to tie for sixth at 14 under. The event was his first in Florida since the 2006 Honda Classic. Fellow Hall of Famer Colin Montgomerie also was 14 under after a 66.
Bernhard Langer tied for 37th at 7 under, following two 71s with a 67. The 59-year-old German star won the opener in Hawaii for his 30th career victory on the tour.
Winning Ryder Cup captains Jose Maria Olazabal (72) and Paul McGinley (69) tied for 41st at 6 under in their senior debuts.