Sunday April 19, 2015 Recap
Olin Browne was crowned the 2015 Greater Gwinnett Championship winner this morning after inclement weather cancelled the final round of the tournament. Browne shot a course record 64 during Saturday’s round two to finish at 12-under par. The Greater Gwinnett Championship is Browne’s second Champions Tour victory and he looks forward to defending his title in 2016.
“I love coming here, love this golf course,” said Browne. “I like this area, good people, great tournament crew, everybody puts their best foot forward, the hospitality here is great and it’s familiar turf. We’ve been coming here for a number of years, it’s really great here and I look forward to it next year.”
Click here to view photos from this morning’s trophy ceremony.
Click here to watch Browne’s championship interview.
1 Olin Browne -12 68 64 132
2 Bernhard Langer -11 69 64 133
3 Rocco Mediate -9 68 67 135
T4 Jesper Parnevik -7 68 69 137
Stephen Ames -7 70 67 137
Mark O’Meara -7 68 69 137
Tom Pernice Jr. -7 69 68 137
|From the Champions Tour
For the first time in over three years, Mother Nature helped a player win a Champions Tour event and the beneficiary this time was Olin Browne. Browne claimed his second career title on the Champions Tour without ever having to hit a shot in the final round when heavy rains on Saturday night made the TPC Sugarloaf course unplayable. As it turned out, Browne’s six-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole on Saturdayturned out to be the deciding stroke that kept him ahead of Bernhard Langer who had eagled the final hole just 10 minutes after Browne finished his round.
With His Victory…Olin Browne
Olin Browne won his first second career title on the Champions Tour in his 127th career start on the circuit and ended a victory drought of 3 years, 8 months, 18 days (74 events) since his initial Champions Tour victory at the 2011 U.S. Senior Open at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio.
Browne became the sixth different winner on the Champions Tour this year in the six official events that have been played.
Browne became the first player to win a rain-shortened event on the Champions Tour since Brad Faxon won the 2011 Insperity Championship near Houston. Faxon’s 36-hole victory at The Woodlands came 3 years, 6 months and 10 days ago. Today was the first rain-shortened official event on the Champions Tour in 83 tournaments.
In Browne’s only other previous appearance at the Greater Gwinnett Championship, he was T51 in 2014. Browne’s best finish at TPC Sugarloaf on the PGA TOUR was T9 in 2007 at the AT&T Classic.
Browne earned a two-year exemption into the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. He also earned 270 Charles Schwab Cup points and moved into the lead in the season-long race after six events with 443 total points on the season. Browne was in 11th place in the Schwab Cup standings prior to the start of this week. He now is 12 points in front of Bart Bryant.
Browne also earned a check for $270,000 and moved to the top of the 2015 earnings list with $478,399.
Before today, the Champions Tour had experienced three other rain-shortened events in the Atlanta area. At the 1992 Nationwide Championship at Country Club of the South, Japan’s Isao Aoki won his first Champions Tour title over just 36 holes. New Zealand’s Bob Charles (1988) and Australia’s Bruce Crampton (1986) also claimed rain-shortened Champions Tour events at Horseshoe Bend Country Club.
Bernhard Langer’s runner-up performance gave him three consecutive years where he’s finished either first or second in the Greater Gwinnett Championship. Langer, the 2013 champion, picked up a check for $158,400 and now has earned $586,400 in his three appearances at TPC Sugarloaf. Langer’s second-place effort was also his best performance on the Champions Tour this year and extended his streak of years finishing among the top 3 at least once within the first six events since he started in 2007.
Both Jesper Parnevik (T4) and Stephen Ames (T4) recorded their best career efforts on the Champions Tour today. Ames joined the Champions Tour last year and his previous best was T6 at the 2014 Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn. Parnevik joined the Champions Tour last month at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic.
2015 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Mark O’Meara was T4 this week and coupled with his second-place effort at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai and third-place performance at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic, he’s off to his best start in a Champions Tour season since 2007 when he had top-five efforts in three of his first five tournaments. O’Meara is currently third on the Charles Schwab Cup points list with 391 points. O’Meara’s highest career finish in the Schwab Cup was eighth in both 2009 and 2010.
Defending champion Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain finished T10 this week.