PITTSBURGH – Bernhard Langer gave away a four-shot lead in the final round of Senior Players Championship and wondered where his game had gone.
“It was like, ‘This is not Bernhard Langer,’ ” he said, laughing. “Usually I’m a bit more steady.”
No matter. The two-time Masters champion regained his composure — and, more importantly, his putting stroke — to edge Jeff Sluman on the second hole of a playoff for his third victory of the year and third major title on the 50-and-older Champions Tour.
Langer, 56, earned $405,000 for the victory. The German closed with an even-par 70 to match Sluman (65) at 15-under 265 after 72 holes of regulation at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
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Langer made a 35-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th hole to tie Sluman. Langer birdied the par-5 18th on the second hole of sudden death after a brilliant pitch from the rough to 5 feet.
Sluman has a 1-9 record in playoffs as a professional.
“If I’m in another playoff, bet on the other guy,” Sluman said.
Sluman narrowly missed a birdie putt on the first playoff hole that would have won the tournament.
Kirk Triplett (65), a graduate of Pullman High School, tied for 22nd place at 6 under. Rick Fehr (71) of Seattle tied for 51st at 2 over.
Rose wins playoff
BETHESDA, Md. – Justin Rose got his mistake out of the way one hole early and won the Quicken Loans National in a playoff over Shawn Stefani.
Tied for the lead as he played the 18th hole at Congressional, Rose tried to hit through two trees left of the fairway and overturned the shot. The ball ran down a bank and into the water, and he had to hole a 15-foot bogey putt to stay in the mix.
Stefani, who bogeyed the 17th hole to fall into a tie with Rose, hit a shot into the water and took a double bogey on the first playoff hole; Rose made a par for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2013 U.S. Open.
Rose and Stefani closed with 70s for scores of 4-under 280 after 72 holes. Rose, 33, earned $1.17 million.
Former Washington Husky Richard H. Lee (74) tied for 11th place at even par and Michael Putnam (74), who is from University Place, tied for 24th at 3 over.
No. 1 Lewis prevails
ROGERS, Ark. – Top-ranked Stacy Lewis, a former college standout at Arkansas, made a 7-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship by one shot.
Lewis, 29, closed with a 6-under 65 for a 12-under 201 total. She earned $300,000 for the victory.
Lydia Ko (65), Cristie Kerr (67) and Angela Stanford (67) tied for second place.