Monday, November 5, 2012

Lehman Cruises to Second Straight Schwab Cup Title

Tom Lehman fired a 5-under 65 Sunday to sail to victory at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, becoming the first Champions Tour player to win the season-long Charles Schwab Cup in consecutive years.

Lehman finished the event at Desert Mountain Golf Club at 22-under 258, six strokes ahead of runner-up Jay Haas. He entered the week in second place in the season-long points race behind Bernhard Langer, but was able to overtake Langer with a dominating performance in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"It feels great," he said after the round. "To have everyone here, to win this in my hometown, means a lot."

Lehman becomes the fifth player to win the Charles Schwab Cup twice in its 12-year history, but the first to pull off the feat in back-to-back seasons. Hale Irwin, Tom Watson, Jay Haas and Loren Roberts each won the championship twice across respective three-year spans.

Langer, the 2010 overall champion, matched Lehman's 65 Sunday to finish the week in sixth place. Fred Couples, who entered the final round one shot behind Lehman, made only one birdie Sunday and struggled to a 3-over 73 to finish in a tie for fourth, nine shots off the pace.

After the round, Lehman shared thoughts on his long-time swing coach Jim Flick, who is currently battling cancer.

"The last four days have been somewhat difficult, trying to fight back tears at times," explained Lehman, who was emotional upon holing his final putt Sunday. "(Jim) has meant a great deal to me and I never would have gotten to where I've gotten in golf without him."

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