Planet Golf — 24 August 2014 by Bob Sherwin
Dunlap beats Brooks in Boeing playoff

SNOQUALMIE, Wa. – Scott Dunlap dropped in a one-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to hold off Mark Brooks and win the Boeing Classic Sunday.

Dunlap set up his winning putt on the par-5, 498-yard 18th hole with an outstanding fairway approach shot that hit to the right of the pin, bounced past then drew back downhill to within four feet. He missed his eagle try but finished it for his first Champions Tour victory.

Brooks, who put himself in jeopardy by landing in the bunker on his drive, had missed a 30-foot putt on his fourth shot.

“That tee shot got me in a funny spot,” Brooks said.

It was the fifth playoff in the 10-year history of the tournament at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge course.

Brooks staged a dramatic closing run on the back nine to earn his spot in the playoff. He had  five straight birdies and six over his final seven holes to finish with a 7-under 65. He had a 6-under 30 on the back nine, one off the course record.

Brooks tied Dunlap at 16-under with an 8-foot birdie putt on 18.

Dunlap, in the final group, put his approach shot in on 18 into the left bunker. His pitch out rolled seven feet past the hole but he missed his slider putt to the left to settle for the playoff.

Dunlap, who has played multiple tour his entire career with seven worldwide victories, did not win in his three stints – seven seasons – on the PGA Tour. His best finishes were three thirds. He won a couple times on the Web.com Tour, his last was in 2008.

The shot that set up Dunlap's Boeing win

The shot that set up Dunlap’s Boeing win

Brooks, the 1996 PGA champion, won seven times on the PGA Tour but has not had a victory in his four years on the Champions Tour. In his three previous appearances at Boeing, he had not finished better than tied for 57th.

Gene Sauers finish third at 14-under 202. Tom Pernice Jr. was fourth at 13-under 203.

Seven players were within a shot of the lead as they approached the turn when Dunlap eagled the par-5 eighth hole with a 45-foot putt over a ridge. That put him two shots ahead of the field at 13-under.

However, both Doug Garwood and Tommy Armour III birdied No. 8 to bring them back to within one.

Dunlap and Armour then broke away. Both birdied No. 10 and Dunlap followed with a birdie on 11 for a two-shot advantage over Armour.

Armour had the misfoturne of hitting the pin on his approach to the 12th green and the ball caromed back well off the green. He settled for a par but needed more. He bogeyed 13 and his pursuit was over.

Dunlap, wedging his approach on the 14th to within three feet, dropped in his birdie putt to extend it to 16-under and a three-stroke lead at the time.

While others faded, Brooks slipped through the ranks. He birdied 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 to go 15-under, one behind Dunlap. He parred the par-3 17th before knocking in his birdie on 18.

Fred Couples, the local hometown favorite, shot one of the best rounds of the day at 6-under 66. He finished with an 8-under 208 for 15th place.

Bernhard Langer, the overwhelming leader in the Charles Schwab Cup standings, also tied for 15th, finishing outside the top 10 for just the second time in 17 starts this season. His worst previous Boeing finish was tied for 11th twice.

 

 

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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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