He shot 6-under-par 64 to win the Wyndham Championship by one shot on Jason Gore at Sedgefield Country Club, where Tiger Woods’ final-round bid for a comeback victory never gained much momentum.
The 51-year-old Love fired a six-under par 64 in Sunday’s final round to finish 17-under for a one shot victory and his first title since 2008.
Love has played two Champions Tour events this year and committed to the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open this week in Endicott, New York But as he said Sunday, he now has an “upgrade” and will be at The Barclays for the start of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs. He made just one birdie in his first 10 and then played himself out of contention with a triple bogey on the 11th. At 51 years, 4 months, 10 days, Love trails only Sam Snead and Art Wall on the tour’s age list.
Snead was 52 years old when he won the last of his eight Greensboro titles in 1965, while Wall was 51 years and seven months old when he won in Milwaukee in 1975.
With 21 victories now to his name, a PGA Championship and a PLAYERS Championship, this son of a PGA professional has assembled a hall of fame worthy career. Relative to his performances this season, however, a tied-for-10th finish is a win.
Fans at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., thronged around Woods, who was playing in the tournament for the first time, but after a solid front nine, the 14-time major victor encountered disaster at the 11th hole.
He closed with three straight pars, walked off the 18th green with a two-stroke lead over Brown and Gore, and headed to the range to rest for a possible playoff. After just missing a birdie on hole 16, Gore survived hole 17 and needed a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff with Love III.
There was fairly a crowd close to the highest of the leaderboard for some time.
Tiger failed to finish five of the 12 tournaments he played in this season, with four missed cuts and a withdrawal due to injury.
Love is ranked 613 in the world, Woods 282, Gore 252, Brown 209, Schwartzel 45, and Casey 27, yet there wasn’t a struck match between them.
The victory wasn’t secure until Gore’s 50-foot birdie attempt on the last hole sat a couple of inches from the hole.
Woods started the day two strokes off the lead but did not make a birdie until the ninth hole.
Woods had already lost ground on the leaders after an erratic, outward 35, and his chipping problems returned at 11 when he shanked his first pitch, duffed his second and took three more to get down. He dropped a shot at the par-3 seventh hole, but made his second eagle of the round at the par-5 15th to be the clubhouse leader at 17-under.