Planet Golf — 26 August 2012 by Bob Sherwin
Blake edges O’Meara in Boeing playoff

SNOQUALMIE, Wa. – Jay Don Blake birdied the second playoff to beat Mark O’Meara, who pared, to win the Boeing Classic at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Sunday.

Blake and O’Meara both birdied the 18th – and 54th – hole to reach the playoffs. They then both pared the par-5, 498-yard 18th again in the first playoff hole. They returned to the 18th tee one more time. Blake pitched his third shot to within six inches. O’Meara’s chip checked up 15 feet short and he missed his putt to the right. The 54-year-old Blake then dropped his in for his third Champions Tour victory in 66 starts.

This was his first victory since winning the Charles Schwab Cup championship last November.

(For a shot-by-shot look at the final round, check the Golf Bag)

Jay Don Blake

    • With his win, Blake wins his third career title on the Champions Tour in his 66th career start.
    • His win today comes in 19th start this year. His previous-best finish in three other starts at the Boeing Classic was T23 in 2009.
    • The victory today was first title since the 2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship, ending a victory drought of nine months, 20 days.  He also becomes the 17th different winner on the Champions Tour this year.
    • Blake earns a check for $300,000 and collects 300 Charles Schwab Cup points. His earnings at the Boeing Classic vault him from 23rd to 12th on the 2012 Money List with $839,110.
    • Blake now has won three times in the last year. Only Fred Couples has won as many during that stretch.

Final-round notes:

Sunday’s playoff was the fourth in the eight-year history of the event and the second in as many years. Last year Mark Calcavecchia defeated Russ Cochran with a two-putt birdie on the first extra hole.

    • The playoff was also the third on the Champions Tour this year and the second in succession. A week ago, Willie Wood defeated Michael Allen to win the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open with a par on the first playoff hole. Earlier this year Corey Pavin defeated Peter Senior with a birdie on the first hole to win the Allianz Championship.
    • This marks the second year in succession Jay Don Blake has defeated Mark O’Meara in a playoff. They were among four players (John Cook and Peter Senior the others) in a playoff at last year’s Songdo IBD Championship in Korea. Blake birdied the fifth extra hole to defeat Cook after Senior and O’Meara were eliminated on the third extra hole.
    • With back-to-back playoffs the last two weeks, that is the first time it happened on the Champions Tour since 2008 when Bernhard Langer beat Jay Haas at the Toshiba Classic and Denis Watson bested Loren Roberts at the AT&T Classic.
    • Bernhard Langer narrowly missed posting his 11th consecutive top-10 finish when he finished T11. Langer rebounded from an opening-round 1-over-par 73 with consecutive rounds of 69 on the weekend, but fell one short of extending his streak.
    • Duffy Waldorf bounced back from an opening-round 75 to post weekend rounds of 68-67 which helped lead him to a T8 in his Champions Tour debut. Gene Sauers recorded consecutive rounds of 71 to finish T21 in his debut.
    • In the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race, Tom Lehman remains in first place with 2,043 points followed by Bernhard Langer with 1,893 points, 104 points behind Lehman. Roger Chapman remains third with 1,756 points with Fred Couples fourth (1,530) and Michael Allen fifth (1,424). With his victory, Jay Don Blake is now 20th. At the end of the official season, the player earning the most Charles Schwab Cup points will receive a $1 million payout.
    • Tom Byrum took full advantage of his sponsor exemption this week. He finished T6 which earned him a berth in the upcoming Pacific Links Championship in Hawaii as a top-10 finisher not otherwise exempt.
    • Defending champion Mark Calcavecchia finished T4 in defense of his title, the best finish in this event by a defending champion.
    • Jim Gallagher, Jr., had the lone eagle at No. 14 on Sunday. Overall, there were four eagles during the week. Joining Gallagher were R.W. Eaks (Rd. 1) and John Huston and Brad Faxon (both Rd. 2). Eaks has now made three eagles on No. 14 in his career.

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Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 46th year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past 10 years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur the 2015 U.S. Open and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men’s basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. Despite (or perhaps because) of his 14 handicap, he won the ‘Super Senior” (65 and older) championship in 2017. He has a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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