Bernhard Langer

Kevin Sutherland wins Schwab Cup despite Bernhard Langer’s 7-win season

The finish to the 2017 PGA Tour Champions season will certainly produce some chatter, as a surprise name took home all the accolades.

Kevin Sutherland fired a 5-under 66 Sunday at Phoenix Country Club for a one-shot victory over Vijay Singh at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

It was the 53-year-old’s first career victory on the PGA Tour Champions, and with it he earned the 2017 Schwab Cup, the annual season-long points race (based on earnings) on the PGA Tour Champions.

The points reset prior to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, also the finale to the three-event Schwab Cup Playoffs, allowed any player in the top five in the standings to take the Schwab Cup with a win there. Sutherland entered the week fifth and took advantage, using the win to garner the Schwab Cup title – which brings with it a $1 million annuity.

But all of this leaves the circuit’s most dominant figure on the outside looking in.

Sutherland may’ve made a timely charge, but Bernhard Langer yet again was the dominant force all season on the PGA Tour Champions. The 60-year-old posted a new best in 2017, winning seven times this season.

He had five other top-three finishes and 16 total top 10s in 22 events. He led the Tour in top 10s as well as wins, with Scott McCarron a distant second with four titles on the season.

Langer entered the finale the leader in the standings and ready to capture his fourth straight Schwab Cup crown (and fifth overall). The reset made him vulnerable, though, and an opening 71 left the door wide open. Even closing 68-64 could only produce a T-12 showing this week for Langer, who dropped a spot to finish second in the Schwab Cup.

Overall, Langer fails to capture the Schwab Cup despite a season that included more wins than his last two Schwab-Cup-winning campaigns combined.

Sutherland seized the moment when needed, though, posting a second-round 63 to move into contention and then piecing together an eagle and three birdies in a bogey-free closing round that put him at 15-under 198.

Singh birdied four of his last six holes to fire a final-round 63 and tie for second with Lee Janzen. John Daly closed in 65 to tie fourth at 13 under just two weeks after withdrawing from the PowerShares QQQ Championship due to a knee injury. Overnight leader Paul Goydos tied for ninth at 11 under after a closing 72.

Sutherland, the only player in PGA Tour Champions history to shoot 59, had 15 top 10s (including five top threes besides his win) on the season in 23 starts.

In his career on the circuit, Sutherland had finished second or third 13 times in 77 starts before his breakthrough win Sunday.

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