SCOTTSDALE, Az — Tom Pernice Jr. won the Champions Tour’s season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, defeating Jay Haas with a birdie on the fourth hole of a playoff.
The 55-year-old Pernice got up-and-down from the left bunker on the par-5 18th, holing a 6-foot putt after Haas made a 12-footer for par.
Pernice closed with a 3-under 67 — also making a 6-foot birdie putt on 18 — to match Haas at 11-under 269 on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course. The 6-year-old Haas had a 66.
Pernice earned $440,000 in the event limited to the top 30 on the money list. He also won a playoff in Iowa in June and has four career victories on the 50-and-over tour after winning twice on the PGA Tour.
Haas missed chances to win on the second and third playoff holes.
On the third on the par-3 17th, Haas’ 15-foot birdie putt went to the right. Pernice then made a 6-footer after missing the green to the left and hitting a flop shot.
On 18 on the second extra hole, Haas’ 8-foot birdie try also slid right, and Pernice made a 4-footer for a scrambling par. He drove right into a narrow rain-wash cut in the desert, slashed sideways to the fairway, hit his 246-yard approach to the right of the green and set up the par putt with a long pitch.
Haas made a 6-foot birdie putt on 18 on the first extra hole after Pernice finished off a two-putt birdie with a 1-footer.
In regulation on 18, Haas holed a 35-foot birdie putt from the fringe to take the lead at 11 under. Pernice — playing a group behind — forced the playoff with his 6-foot birdie putt.
Haas opened with rounds of 66 and 62 to take a four-stroke lead and break the tour record for consecutive rounds of par or better at 38, then shot 75 on Saturday to fall a stroke behind Pernice and Kenny Perry.
Haas won two weeks ago at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn in North Carolina to become the 18th player to win a Champions Tour event at 60 or older. He has 17 Champions Tour victories after winning nine PGA Tour titles.
Perry eagled the final hole for a 68 to finish a stroke back.
Bernhard Langer closed with a 65 to tie for fourth with Colin Montgomerie at 9 under.
Langer wrapped up his second Charles Schwab Cup points title last week and earned $158,000 on Sunday to break Hale Irwin’s tour record with $3,074,189. Irwin made $3,082,304 in 2002.
The 57-year-old Langer led the tour with five victories, two of them majors, and had 12 top-three finishes in 20 starts. He also won the season points title in 2010.
Montgomerie finished with a 67.
Schwab notes from Golferswest.com’s Candace Oehler:
Esteban Toledo, who finished T14 at -2, had no time to celebrate the end of the season. After signing his card, he and son Nicholas left immediately for his home town of Mexicali, where the 52-year old, two-time Champions Tour winner is in the process of building an orphanage. The 1500-square foot facility will be a real home for 20 kids, a place where they’ll find food, love, and support.
“These kids need help,” he said. “We’re going today to finalize the property purchase, and hope to have construction completed by the end of November.”
It’s no surprise that Toledo gives back through his Esteban Toledo Family Foundation (estebantoledofamilyfoundation.org). Family matters. Growing up as one of 11 children, who lived in poverty and had to share a single bedroom, he credits his success, both as a teenage boxer and professional golfer, to that upbringing.
His incredible story was the subject of Tin Cup of Dreams: A Long Shot Makes it to the PGA Tour, by Michael D’Antonio.
“That was all just part of life,” he explained. “And all of it contributes to who you are.”
At the Schwab Cup Championship, he’s been accompanied by his 24-year old son, and numerous family friends, who have been easy to spot in their colorful, bright Loud Mouth apparel. According to Nicholas, his girlfriend came up with the idea at the AT&T, where Toledo was on the bubble to get into the Schwab Cup Championship. She chose the brightest, John Daly-channeling pumpkin pants in the PGA Superstore and Toledo promised, “If I get in, I’ll wear those.” He did get in and kept his promise, sporting the pants on Halloween.
Since then, the group has debuted a new pattern everyday, culminating with pink today in honor of breast cancer awareness.
Toledo’s offseason will be a busy one. He has signed on to play an event in Argentina where he and players including Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas will represent their respective countries in a competition designed to bring attention to the PGA Tour Latinoamérica.
No word yet on whether Loud Mouth will make the trip to Latin America with him.
*The Schwab is definitely NOT the Waste Management Phoenix Open. “Refined,” “elite,” and “polite” are the words that most come to mind at the Schwab. I saw fewer than five tee shirts, can count the number of children on one hand, and heard not a single “IN THE HOLE!” or “BABA-BOOEY!” Nor were there any ASU coeds in daisy dukes and high heels, sloshing their beer as they try to navigate the cart path. What there was: Gray Goose and white wine, middle-aged couples holding hands, and everyone dressed in their most stylish golf apparel. Judging by the men’s shirts, pretty much all of them have played Pebble Beach, the Old Course, and, of course, Pinehurst.
* Olin Browne on Bernhard Langer: He’s a menace. He’s so good it’s hard to really quantify how good he is. He’s so astute in how he plays the golf course. His preparation is amazing and he uses that preparation to play that great all the time. No question he hits the ball great, his GIR is under 80% which is staggering; his all around game is sound, his short game is phenomenal. He’s just a fantastic player, plain and simple.