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Langer holes out for Allianz win



Boca Raton, FL (Sports Network) - Bernhard Langer holed out from a bunker for eagle on the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat John Cook and win the Allianz Championship.

Langer and Cook played the par-five 18th hole at The Old Course at Broken Sound for the first extra hole. Cook was in the right rough off the tee and Langer was in the fairway.

Cook hit a great shot to 25 feet to reach the green in two. Langer's second plugged in a greenside bunker and the advantage definitely appeared to be with Cook.

But Langer, the two-time Masters champion, blasted the ball out almost 10 feet short of the cup. The ball rolled right into the center of the cup, prompting a fist-pumping leap from the 52-year-old.

Cook had a chance to continue the playoff if he could hole the putt. He gave it a good run and it threatened the hole, but ultimately ran by, giving the title to Langer.

For the supplanted German, this was a hometown victory. He has been a Boca Raton resident for decades and won his title with supportive and familiar galleries.

"I'm emotional because it's in front of my home crowd, my family," said Langer, who pocketed $247,500 for the win. "I've lived here for 24 years. It doesn't get better."

The victory was Langer's ninth on the Champions Tour in a little over two years.

Cook and Langer both had five-under 67s on Sunday and finished regulation at 17-under 199.

Joey Sindelar shot a 67 as well and missed the playoff by a single stroke at minus-16. Gene Jones fired a six-under 66 and took fourth place at 15-under 201.

The very fact that playoff occurred was due to a huge mistake by Langer.

At the 17th, armed with a one-shot lead, Langer missed a three-foot par putt. That dropped him into a tie for first, but he fell one behind quickly after Cook two-putted for birdie at the par-five closing hole.

Langer needed a birdie to force a playoff and didn't get off to a great start in that pursuit. He pushed his drive to the right into a shell collection area. After some manicuring near his ball, Langer hit a spectacular second to the front fringe.

Langer got up and down for the birdie then won the playoff to push his record in extra holes on the Champions Tour to a perfect 3-0.

"Obviously, I didn't want to make it that exciting," said Langer, the reigning Player of the Year on the Champions Tour. "Finishing like that, it was all worth it.

"Today I missed a couple of short putts, especially there on 17. Overall, I was very pleased to play that well. It gets harder every month and every year."

Langer had seven birdies and two bogeys in his final round, while Cook, who is now 0-3 in playoffs on the Champions Tour, was flawless with birdies and no bogeys.

Second-round co-leader Tim Simpson (71), Mike Reid (68), Loren Roberts (69) and Tom Lehman (69) shared fifth place at minus-14.

The other co-leader, Tommy Armour III (72), Jay Haas (68), Chien Soon Lu (68), Jay Don Blake (69) and Nick Price (70) tied for ninth at 13-under 203.

NOTES: Last year's winner Mike Goodes shot a four-under 68 on Sunday to tie for 16th at 10-under 206...The Champions Tour is off next week, but returns in two weeks for the Toshiba Classic, which was won last year by Eduardo Romero.

02/21 17:43:58 ET


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