Sunday, March 9

Bernhard Langer Survives Seven-hole Playoff

Bernhard Langer (Fortsonre/Flickr)

Finally. It’s over.

While reading up on other golf news, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Toshiba Classic (Champions Tour) in Newport Beach, California. Jay Haas fired a 65 today to catch and pass third-round leader Bernhard Langer.

But Langer birdied the 72nd hole to force a sudden-death playoff. Many times these playoffs are settled in a hole or two. Not this time. Haas and Langer went seven extra holes before Bernhard sunk the winning birdie putt on the par-five 18th.

The pair completed the 18th hole three times in the playoff, and twice played the 16th and 17th. It’s another good (and hard-earned) win for Langer.

UPDATE: I just saw the last two playoff holes on the Golf Channel. Haas nearly chipped in for an eagle on 18 (the ball ducked in and came out) and then uncharacteristically missed a four-footer to give Langer the win. It was the first-ever playoff loss for Haas, who is now 5-1 in playoffs.

−The Armchair Golfer

1 comment :

Andy Brown said...

That is one of the beauties of the sports isn’t it. These guys play for four days, over 72 holes and you definitely expect someone to have pulled ahead of the rest of the field. Therefore having one playoff hole to determine the winner is in itself a thrilling finish for a tournament. Golf is one of the toughest games to close out and one can only imagine that it must have completely drained the players mentally after the 7 hole playoff. Interestingly this was not the maximum number of playoffs required to win this event.
There have been two nine hole playoffs at this very tournament, one in 1997 and then in 2001.

The Champions Tour record stands at 10. Yes, 10, wow! I tried to hunt down some stats and it turns out that on the PGA Tour the longest sudden death playoff lasted 11 holes. This was at the 1949 Motor City Open between Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum.

Interestingly Lloyd Mangrum was involved in the 1950 U.S. Open playoff and at one point he was docked a two stroke penalty for picking up his ball and marking it again. That one was won by Ben Hogan.