Blake outlasts three in playoff to win in Korea|
Songdo, South Korea (Sports Network) - Jay Don Blake hadn't won a golf
tournament in 20 years, so it was fitting that he had to wait five extra holes
to finally revisit the winner's circle.
Blake outlasted three players in a five-hole playoff on Sunday to win the
Songdo Championship Korea, posting a birdie on the last hole to record his
first Champions Tour victory.
Blake got into the playoff with John Cook, Peter Senior and Mark O'Meara by
shooting a four-under 68 in regulation, matching the others at 13-under 203
atop the leaderboard at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.
By the end of the playoff, it was a familiar foe for Blake in Cook, as O'Meara
and Senior both bowed out by missing short par putts on the third playoff
The pair faced off in a playoff earlier this year at the Outback Steakhouse
Pro-Am, and Cook defeated Blake on the first hole. This time, however, Blake
exacted a bit of revenge, pouring in a six-foot birdie putt on the par-four
10th after Cook had an 18-footer for birdie lip out.
On the final hole, both players had their tee shots sitting next to each
other, but it was Blake who made the most of his spot in the fairway.
"I had about the same yardage as the (third playoff hole)," Blake said in a
televised interview. "I just hit it a little bit harder...it flew over the top
and stopped about six feet. The greens are getting a little crusty, and it's
hard to make putts. I hit a good putt, creeped in the right corner."
Blake hadn't recorded a top-five finish since the lost playoff with Cook, and
now he has his first win since the 1991 Shearson Lehman Brothers Open.
Cook squandered several chances to come away victorious in the playoff, the
first being a missed 10-foot birdie putt on the second. All four playoff
participants parred the par-five 18th twice to begin the extra session,
eventually moving on to No. 10.
Cook hit a fairway bunker with his tee shot, but hit an incredible approach
from the sand to seven feet. Blake was a good 17 feet away from the pin, while
O'Meara and Senior missed the green. After the other three missed their birdie
chances, Cook missed his birdie chance.
However, the field was cut in half after the aforementioned missed par putts,
and Blake and Cook went back to the 18th. Cook used a three-wood for his
second shot from the fairway and came up just shy of the green -- while Blake
layed up -- but Cook's pitch from 40 yards was poor and stayed well shy of the
Blake had a 12-footer for the win, but missed, and they went on to the fifth
and ultimately final hole.
It was Senior who, during regulation, made a surprising run to the top of the
leaderboard after beginning the day in a share of 11th. He shot an eight-under
64 on Sunday, including seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch from the eighth.
Senior had short birdie putts on 17 and 18, but couldn't make either.
O'Meara shot a 67 to jump from fourth and made three birdies in the last five
holes. He had a 15-foot birdie chance on the last, but his putt never had a
Cook and Blake entered the day sharing second, one shot behind overnight
leader Michael Allen, who stumbled to a three-over 75 and finished tied for
sixth. Both of the final playoff participants shot four-under 68, with Cook's
birdie at 16 and Blake's four birdies in five holes from the 13th helping
advance past regulation.
"I feel great. I worked pretty hard for it," Blake said on TV of his win.
The quartet finished two shots clear of Charles Schwab Cup points leader Tom
Lehman, whose 68 helped him finish fifth at 11-under. Mark Calcavecchia (71),
Tom Pernice, Jr. (71) and David Peoples (73) shared sixth with Allen at minus-
NOTES: This was the longest playoff on tour this season...Cook fell to 4-8 in
career playoffs, while Blake improved to 1-1. O'Meara is now 4-5 and Senior
0-2...It was the first four-man playoff since the 2008 ACE Group Classic...In
two weeks, the Champions Tour returns for the SAS Championship, which was won
by Russ Cochran last year...Senior's 64 tied a course record.
09/18 05:21:31 ET