Langer Wins Dominion Energy Charity Classic

Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer Won His Sixth Event Of The Season And Leads The Charles Schwab Cup Points Race. (PGA TOUR/Stan Badz)

RICHMOND, Virginia (PGA TOUR) — Bernhard Langer didn't find his putting stroke until it mattered most.

The 60-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer made an 18-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole Sunday to shoot a 2-under 70 and win the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three events which make up the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. He beat Scott Verplank by one shot.

Langer was even par for the day before getting to the easiest hole on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

"I was missing so many putts today and finally I made one," Langer said after his sixth victory of the season and 35th on PGA TOUR Champions. "The confidence wasn't that high, to tell you the truth. I had a very similar putt just on 17 that about 7 or 8 inches left to right and I made a really good stroke but I left it an inch short, or two inches. I was going to make sure I got this one to the hole."

The victory clinched the top seed in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Phoenix Country Club in three weeks. Before that, however, is the PowerShares QQQ Championship at Sherwood in Thousand Oaks, California.

For Langer, the eagle putt to win was a career first.

"I think it's only happened one other time in my career when I holed a bunker shot for eagle" on the final hole to win, he said.

The final putt broke from left to right, and Langer said he aimed about 8 inches left of the hole, but didn't know it was in until it dropped.

"You never know until it goes in," he said. "It's just as simple as that because it wasn't a straight putt."

Verplank, playing two groups ahead of Langer, shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to erase a five-shot deficit, but missed birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes. The putt on 17 was from about 30 feet and was online but stopped about an inch short. On 18, his effort from about 5 feet slid by the hole.

"I had a chance to be better than I was so I've got no one to blame but myself," Verplank said. "I just hit kind of a bad putt."

Langer's six victories are a career high, and his 35 victories are second on PGA TOUR Champions, trailing only Hale Irwin's 45.

"He obviously plays with supreme confidence and he's won so many times," Verplank said. "He's a great champion."

Billy Mayfair (65), Kenny Perry (65) and Vijay Singh (71) tied for third at 12 under. Singh made three birdies on his first six holes to briefly grab a share of the lead at 14 under, but he gave all three back with a trio of bogeys and didn't make another birdie until the finishing hole.

Langer became the second player on PGA TOUR Champions to make eagle on the final hole to win by a shot this season. Scott McCarron, who won the Dominion Energy Charity Classic last year, did it at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton, Florida, leap-frogging Carlos Franco and Kenny Perry.

The Playoffs field was cut from 72 to 54 for the PowerShares QQQ Championship. The top 36 will advance to Phoenix.

David McKenzie and Fran Quinn began outside the 54 but played well enough to get inside the number and will advance to the second event of the Playoffs.