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Lehman Wraps up Charles Schwab Cup
Tom Lehman carded a superb final-round 5-under 65 to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship by six strokes. The $2.5 million tournament, the season-ending event on the Champions Tour, took place on the Cochise Course at Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Lehman posted six birdies - including four on the last five holes to make his win a runaway - and a bogey Sunday to finish at 22-under 258, well ahead of Jay Haas (69), who totaled 264. Lehman's 72-hole total broke the tournament record score and tied the record in relation to par set by John Cook in 2009 at Sonoma Golf Club.
The victory, worth $440,000, gave Lehman not only his seventh win on the over-50 circuit but his second straight Charles Schwab Cup, the Champions Tour's season-long points race. The Cup title was also worth a $1 million annuity.
The 53-year-old Minnesotan, who overcame a 211-point deficit to Bernard Langer entering the tournament, became the first player in history to win two consecutive Cups. The German notched two victories this year to take the money title with $2,140,296, while Lehman finished second with $1,982,575.
Lehman has been emotional all week because his longtime and legendary swing coach and friend, Jim Flick, 82, has inoperable cancer. At the podium after accepting the winner's trophy, Lehman said, "The last four days have been somewhat difficult in a way and I've been trying to fight back tears at times because Jim Flick and I spent so much time out here," said Lehman, a resident of Scottsdale.
"We would come up here and play. He'd walk the course with me and we worked on my game. Hopefully he was able to watch today." Lehman later added, "To Jim Flick, you're an amazing competitor - I love you."
Defending tournament champion Jay Don Blake closed with a 66 to take solo third at 266, while another stroke behind were Fred Funk (65) and Fred Couples (73). Langer ended up in sixth at 269 after posting a 65 Sunday.
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