Toms' comeback earns him Colonial win
David Toms threw up both arms up in the air and a smile took over his face when he finally regained the lead at Colonial. This time, he didn't let it get away.
A day after blowing a seven-stroke advantage to go into the final round trailing Charlie Wi by one, Toms made an eagle with a wedge shot from 83 yards at par-5 11th hole Sunday to take the lead for good and went on to his first PGA Tour victory since January 2006.
The 44-year-old Toms closed with a 3-under 67 at Hogan's Alley to get to 15 under. His long-elusive 13th career victory came a week after a playoff loss to K.J. Choi at The Players Championship, his sixth runner-up finish since last winning.
''That just took a lot of guts, that's really all,'' Toms said. ''That's what I got by on today.''
Wi shot a 69, ending up a stroke back for his fourth career runner-up finish without a win.
After that playoff loss at TPC Sawgrass, Toms had an opening 62 at Colonial for his best score in 429 rounds - since a career-best 61 during his last victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Toms followed with another bogey-free 62 to match the PGA Tour scoring record for the first 36 holes of a tournament (124), and opened the third round with another birdie.
At 17 under through 37 holes and seemingly in control, Toms instead had three bogeys in the next five holes. There was later a three-putt from 7 1/2 feet for double bogey and Wi took the lead with a 32-foot birdie at the par-3 16th Saturday.
Wi, the 39-year-old South Korean who made his 100th cut on the PGA Tour this weekend, extended his lead to three strokes after consecutive birdies to open Sunday's round. Toms, his playing partner, missed both greens but managed pars.
Toms finally caught up at 13 under after Wi missed the green with his approach at the par-4 10th and two-putted from 13 feet for a bogey.
Then came the clincher on Colonial's longest hole, the 635-yard 11th.
After laying up to a perfect spot short of the green, and Wi's ball sitting in a frontside bunker, Toms' wedge shot bounced once, landed just behind the pin and then rolled back into the cup.
''When something like that happens, it's like it's meant to me,'' Toms said.
Toms pumped his arms over his head before Wi blasted to 4 1/2 feet for a birdie putt that still had him a stroke behind.
Wi then hit out of the same fairway bunker twice at the par-4 12th hole after his errant drive. He managed a bogey after finally hitting out of the fairway to 7 feet, but Toms' 5-foot par stretched his lead to two strokes.
Toms became the first player on the PGA Tour to rebound from a playoff loss one week to winning the next since 2000, when Phil Mickelson won at Colonial after losing in a playoff at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Bo Van Pelt (65) finished third at 10 under. Defending Colonial champion Zach Johnson also shot a closing 65 to finish at 9 under in fourth place, while Robert Karlsson (67) and Chez Reavie (68) were 8 under.
After a bogey at No. 4 when his tee shot at the difficult 247-yard par 3 missed the green left, Wi quickly rebounded by draining a 35-foot birdie putt at the 481-yard 5th hole. He pumped his right fist and smiled, still with a three-stroke with Toms still even on the day.
But things soon started to change.
At No. 6, Toms putted off the fringe with an 18-foot birdie chance that slid just past the hole. He still gained a stroke when Wi missed a 4-foot par putt. The margin was down to one after Toms' birdie at the 440-yard No. 7 hole, when he hit his approach to 10 feet.
Wi made another birdie on the 192-yard 16th hole Sunday, an 8-footer. But Toms sank a 4 1/2-foot par to maintain his two-stroke edge, and give him a needed margin since he bogeyed the 17th hole after his approach into a greenside bunker.
Stuart Appleby, playing in the group ahead of Toms and Wi, was at 12 under and only one stroke behind the leaders when he teed off at No. 12. About the same time Toms was preparing for his tournament-turning shot on the adjacent hole, Appleby's tee shot rattled through the trees.
That bogey was part of a 7-over finish over the final seven holes. After playing the front nine at 4-under 31, Appleby shot 43 on the back for a 74 and finished 4 under, tied with 14 other players for 16th place.