OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — For 70 holes, Bernhard Langer did everything necessary to win his fourth straight Constellation Senior Players Championship.
Unfortunately, his performance at Caves Valley will be remembered only for what happened after that.
Langer’s uncharacteristic collapse on Nos. 17 and 18 paved the way for Scott McCarron to win his first major tournament on the PGA Tour Champions in sensational comeback fashion Sunday.
McCarron shot a bogey-free, 6-under 66 to make up a six-shot deficit and beat Langer and Brandt Jobe by a stroke.
“I’ve been working so hard for this,” said McCarron, a 51-year-old Californian. “That was one of my goals this year, to win three events and one of them being a major. So I’ve got one more event to go.”
McCarron’s victory at the Allianz Championship in February wasn’t nearly as exciting as this one, which came to fruition because Langer came apart just when it seemed he was well on his way to making history.
Seeking his third major win of the year, the 59-year German had a one-shot lead before dropping his tee shot in the water on No. 17. After taking the one-shot penalty, he missed a 4-footer and had to settle for a double bogey.
Playing in the twosome ahead of Langer and Jobe, McCarron didn’t need to see the leaderboard to realize what happened.
“It wasn’t until I heard the fans up there in the cheap seats when Langer hit it in the water did I know that I might have a chance,” McCarron said.
On 18, Langer lipped out a 6-foot birdie putt that would have forced a playoff.
“I thought I hit a really good putt,” he said. “But the big issue was 17, hitting a horrible shot there and then missing for bogey. That was the killer.”
He finished with a 73 that included…