SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Paul Goydos and Bernhard Langer got the big trophies and checks Sunday in the PGA Tour Champions’ season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Goydos completed a wire-to-wire victory in the tournament, and Langer finished second to win his third straight season points title and fourth overall.
“Wire-to-wire, baby!” Goydos said.
Goydos shot a 4-under 66 to finish at 15-under 195 on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course. He opened with a 62 in windy conditions and shot a 67 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead over Colin Montgomerie and a four-shot advantage over Langer into the final round.
“You start out and, really, the best place you could be is way ahead, especially with Montgomerie and Langer — Langer four shots,” Goydos said. “If we played a match, he’d have to give me like two a side, so I thought it was a pretty even spot to be in. Montgomerie probably the same thing, I was lucky to get past him. These guys are Hall of Famers.”
Goydos, 52, earned $440,000. He also won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in July in New York and has four victories on the 50-and-over tour. He won twice on the PGA Tour and shot a 59 in the 2010 John Deere Classic.
“You’ve got to hit the ball in play here,” Goydos said. “You’ve got to hit greens. It’s not a scrambling-type golf course. At least if you do you’ve got to miss it in the right place, which I thought I did a very good job of all week for the most part.”
Langer had a 64. Recovering from a left knee injury that forced him to withdraw from the playoff opener at Sherwood, the 59-year-old German star won the $1 million annuity as the Charles Schwab Cup season champion and topped the tour with four victories and $3,016,959.
“The guy’s a superhero. I don’t get it,” Goydos said. “Seems like he should get older. … I mean, he’s getting better. It’s his best year and he’s 59. He’s amazing.”
In 21 tournaments this year, Langer’s worst finish was a tie for 13th. Aside from the knee injury, he also had to come up with a new putting stroke after the anchoring ban took effect.
“It’s incredible,” Langer said. “Finishing all the tournaments throughout the year in the top 13, it’s extremely tough to do. So it’s difficult to put it all into words, how consistent it’s been, how good it’s been, but very blessed, very fortunate.
Langer even amazed himself. “You know, to win the Money List eight times out of nine is just incredible. It’s hard to do. To win four Schwab Cups, to do the things I’ve done out here the last 10 years or nine years is pretty amazing.”
He added, “I have to pinch myself sometimes. I mean, I came out here hoping to be one of the top players, one of the top-5, top-10 players, but the way things have gone is pretty incredible.”
Goydos agreed. “I don’t really have the words. I don’t really understand it. I’m not in that league of player and it’s hard for me, and people, to understand because there’s so few people capable of doing that. He might be the only one.”
Montgomerie was a bridesmaid yet again, finishing second to Langer in Cup standings for the third consecutive time. He had a 68 to finish the tournament third at 11-under. The Scot’s second place in the Cup standings earned him a $500,000 annuity.
Goydos finished third in the Charles Schwab Cup standings and earned a $300,000 annuity. He is hoping that this win propels him to a more better season next year.
“I shouldn’t admit this,” he said. “but I played pretty poorly since winning at Dick’s. I had a couple good rounds at the US Senior Open, but other than that I was terrible. So this should hopefully be a big building block to maybe where I can play a little more consistently next year.”
Woody Austin (64) and 62-year-old Jay Haas (68) tied for fourth at 7 under.
Last place finisher Carlos Franco (+16) went out first Sunday without a marker and finished the round before the last three groups went out. Still, the Paraguayan was positive about his first experience in the season-ending tournament and his overall play this year.
“Leaving this tournament out, it was really a good year. Winning a tournament (Shaw Charity Classic) and finishing the season among the top 36, I’m really satisfied and proud of that.”