PITTSBURGH — Bernhard Langer made a short birdie putt on the second hole of a playoff with Jeff Sluman to win the Senior Players Championship on Sunday.
Langer appeared to be in trouble when his second shot on the par-5 18th ended up in the rough short of the green. He hit a brilliant pitch to 5 feet and made the putt after Sluman’s birdie attempt rolled just wide.
The victory was the 56-year-old Langer’s third of the year and his third major title on the Champions Tour. The two-time Masters champion shot an even-par 70 to finish at 15-under 265 at Fox Chapel.
Sluman had a bogey-free 65 to match Langer, but narrowly missed a birdie putt on the first playoff hole that would have won it.
Russ Cochran, who trailed by seven shots early in the final round, had a 67 to finish third at 14 under.
Defending champion Kenny Perry tied Langer for the lead heading into the back nine, but faded badly over the closing holes. Perry’s 69 left him two shots out of the playoff.
Langer nearly missed out on the playoff himself. He fought a balky putter much of the day only to hole a 35-foot birdie putt on the 17th that lifted him into a tie with Sluman. The normally reserved German pumped his fist in disbelief after the ball dropped into the cup.
Sluman, the 1988 PGA champion, covered his hands in disbelief after the putt stayed out. Langer didn’t let the reprieve go to waste, birdieing the 18th on his third try to earn his first major title on the 50-and-over circuit since the 2010 Senior British Open.
Lewis shoots 65 to win NW Arkansas Championship: In Rogers, Arkansas, Stacy Lewis made a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday in the NW Arkansas Championship to finally win an official event in her adopted state.
The top-ranked Lewis, the Texan who played at the nearby University of Arkansas, earned an unofficial win in the rain-shortened 2007 tournament as an amateur. She closed with a 6-under 65 for a one-stroke victory.
Lewis birdied three of her final holes for her third LPGA Tour victory of the year and 11th overall. She finished at 12-under 201 at Pinnacle Country Club.
Lydia Ko, Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford tied for second. Ko finished with a 65, and Kerr and Stanford shot 67.
Second-round leader Michelle Wie shot a 73 to tie for eighth at 8 under.
Then, after So Yeon Ryu failed to make an eagle on the final hole, Lewis’ win was secured. Ryu ended up fifth at 10 under after a 69.
Owen wins by one shot: In Newburgh, Indiana, England’s Greg Owen won the United Leasing Championship for his first Web.com Tour title, shooting a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory.
The 42-year-old Owen, a two-time winner on the European Tour, had a 9-under 279 total at Victoria National and earned $108,000.
Zanotti wins BMW International in playoff: In Cologne, Germany, Fabrizio Zanotti won a four-way playoff to take the BMW International Open title and become the first player from Paraguay to win on the European Tour.
Zanotti won when Henrik Stenson conceded after failing to make a bunker shot on the fifth playoff hole. Gregory Havret of France and Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain went out on the second and fourth, respectively.
The 31-year-old Zanotti earlier made seven birdies for a 7-under 65 final round to finish at 19-under 269.
on the Gut Laerchenhof course. It was his second successive 65 after rounds of 72 and then 67.
Stenson came close to snatching victory before the playoff but had to be content with par on the last hole. The Swede made up for two bogeys with five birdies and an eagle. He came agonizingly close to ending the playoff at the first hole.
Cabrera-Bello earned his playoff place with a birdie-eagle-birdie finish. He almost made an eagle to end the playoff at the third hole as the rain began falling.