Champions Golf Tour
Romero wins tight Toshiba Classic



Newport Beach, CA (Sports Network) - Eduardo Romero shot a three-under 68 on Sunday to win the Toshiba Classic by one shot over Mark O'Meara and Joey Sindelar.

Romero scrambled for a bogey at the 18th hole to secure his fifth Champions Tour win and fourth since the beginning of last season.

The 54-year-old Argentine, a prodigious winner in Latin America and two-time major champion on the over-50 circuit, finished the tournament at 11-under 202 and won $255,000.

O'Meara, who shared the overnight lead with 2008 champion Bernhard Langer, managed only a one-under 70 as he tried for his first Champions Tour win. The 1998 Masters and British Open champion birdied the 18th to salvage a second- place tie with Sindelar at 10-under 203.

Sindelar fired an eight-under 63 for the best round of the tournament. His chances of climbing into a playoff increased as Romero struggled at the relatively easy par-five 18th, then vanished when Romero made his bogey.

Still, it marked the best-ever finish on the Champions Tour for Sindelar, who was seven shots off the lead when he started the round. Sindelar laughed when asked if he had a winning score in mind at the beginning of the day.

"To win? I was thinking so I didn't get yelled at by my caddie for yesterday's round," joked Sindelar, who was tied for 24th place after shooting a 72 on Saturday.

"Today was one of those fun days," he added. "It just kept getting better."

It was less fun for the overnight leaders, O'Meara and Langer, who struggled in different ways Sunday.

O'Meara labored to make anything other than a par on the Newport Beach Country Club course. He had an early birdie at No. 4, a bogey at the 12th that dropped him two shots off the lead, and his closing birdie at the 18th.

In between, O'Meara collected 15 pars.

"Poor Mark. He putted terrible today," said Romero, who played in the same group with O'Meara and Langer. "On [these] greens is very difficult to read the line, and he putted bad today, but he played good. He played good. I'm very happy to see Mark come into the top position, because he's a nice man, a good player."

Langer, meanwhile, bogeyed the first two holes and never recovered. He had four bogeys overall -- and just two birdies -- to shoot a 73 that dropped him into a share of ninth place at seven-under 206.

Romero, sitting in third place when the round began, opened with two consecutive birdies Sunday. But he bogeyed two holes later on to cancel them out.

His real move came between the 10th and 12th holes, where he made three straight birdies to take a one-shot lead.

A four-foot birdie putt at the 10th and a six-footer at the 11th moved Romero into a four-way tie for the lead. Then, he moved in front with an approach shot to tap-in range at the 12th.

Romero made another short birdie putt at the 15th to double his lead to two shots, and his closing bogey only served to trim his winning margin.

Afterward, Romero stated what everyone else already knew: the tournament was won on the back nine.

"I played good on the front nine, but [I lose] concentration sometimes," said Romero. "I'm talking to my caddie after nine holes and say, 'We have to wake up. We can win the tournament, but not like this.'

"Then [it] started with three birdies in a row. And then I [watched] Mark O'Meara and the other guys (stumble) on the front. But I played very solid all week long."

Fred Funk (69) shared fourth place with Tim Simpson (67), David Eger (68), Tom Jenkins (69) and Denis Watson (70) at eight-under 205. Bobby Wadkins (68) and Jeff Sluman (69) joined Langer at 206.

03/08 21:37:47 ET