Scott McCarron made an eagle on the 72nd hole Sunday to win the Allianz Championship in a shootout.
In what has started becoming an annual Sunday tradition at the Allianz, McCarron was the last man standing on a day where seven players had at least a share of the lead at some point. McCarron started the day in a 4-way tie for the lead with Olin Browne, Doug Garwood, and Joe Durant. An ill timed bogey at the par 3 16th dropped him to 15-under, and one shot behind clubhouse leaders Kenny Perry and Carlos Franco. It looked like his best shot was to birdie 18 and join those two in a three-way playoff. McCarron bombed his tee shot and then hit a 7-iron from about 180 yards out to 10 feet. Then, McCarron, who was second last year on Tour in eagles, made what might have been the biggest eagle putt of his career.
“I figured, why not make another eagle?” McCarron said about his approach shot and putt. “I couldn’t see the shot because we were right into the sun, but it felt good. I knew it was good.”
“It was kind of a left-center putt and six feet straight up the hill,” McCarron said. “I got my line lined up, went right through my routine, very calm and stroked it just the way I wanted to. As soon as I hit it, I knew I made it. Again, it’s just one of those things when you’re on and you can feel that, it’s a great feeling and today I had that.”
McCarron outlasted one of, if not the strongest fields in PGA Tour Champions history. This year’s Allianz featured Freddy Couples, Miguel Angel Jiminez, John Daly, Jose Maria Olazabal, Bernhard Langer and countless more of the top players on the Tour. With record crowds every day (over 40,000 total for the week), it felt bigger than just a regular Tour stop.
“This had the feel of a major championship,” Hall of Fame golfer Lanny Wadkins said on Golf Channel’s telecast.
Had McCarron not made that eagle putt, then what has also started becoming almost a yearly tradition at the Allianz would have happened again: a playoff.
Both Perry and Franco were staying loose on the range while McCarron was coming up 18, both sitting at 16-under. In fact, Perry also had an eagle putt on 18 to get the 17-under, but it lipped out.
“I hit a great putt,” Perry said. “It was in the middle of the hole a foot from the hole and it broke just a hair to the right and the cup spit it out. I couldn’t ask to hit a better putt.”
Making their Allianz Championship debuts, Couples finished T4 at 14-under par, Jiminez finished in a tie for 23rd at 10-under par, and Olazabal finished in a tie for 41st at 6-under. Daly withdrew after 7 holes into his final round, citing Sciatic Nerve pain.
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