72 holes weren’t enough to decide a U.S. Senior Open champion, but 75 proved to be the perfect amount.
Colin Montgomerie buried a long par putt on the 75th hole to hold off Gene Sauers and win his first USGA major at any level.
Sauers had a 10-foot birdie putt on 18 to win the tournament in regulation, but it barely lipped out, giving Montgomerie new life.
In the three-hole playoff, both players bogeyed No. 16. Sauers put his tee shot on the par-3 17th in the greenside bunker, then chipped over the green with his second shot. He went on to bogey the hole while Montgomerie missed his birdie putt and made par, taking a one-shot lead.
On 18, Sauers missed the green with his second shot to the right, while Montgomerie came up short with his second shot and pitched to within about 25 feet with his third shot. Sauers had a much shorter par putt, so the pressure was on Montgomerie to make his par putt, which he did.
The Oak Tree Gang suffered in the heat along with the rest of the field, as the tournament ended with only four players under par.
Gil Morgan finished tied for 52nd at 14-over. Willie Wood was right ahead of him at 13-over, while Bob Tway finished 10-over, tied for 43rd.
Be sure to check out the Oklahoma Ford Sports Blitz tonight, as Dean Blevins will have a one-on-one interview with Montgomerie.