Joe Durant crashes Bernhard Langer’s birthday week to win PGA Tour Champions Ally Challenge

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It was shaping up to be a pretty great birthday week for Bernhard Langer, but Joe Durant crashed the party.

It didn’t come without a bit of final-hole drama, however, at the Ally Challenge Sunday on the PGA Tour Champions.

Teeing off the 18th hole with a two-shot lead, Durant had to play his second from the 9th fairway. Two swings later and he was facing a five-foot bogey putt that he made to seal the win by a shot over Langer.

It’s Durant’s fourth senior circuit win and his first since the 2018 Chubb Classic.

Durant had four birdies on his front nine, then strung together a bunch of pars to maintain a two-shot lead through most of the day. He birdied the 16th and needed that extra cushion as it turned out. His bogey on 18 snapped a 44-hole bogey-free streak.

Langer turned 64 on Friday and celebrated by shooting his age. After 36 holes, he was tied with Doug Barron for the lead. Langer has been stuck on 41 PGA Tour Champions wins since March 2020, and he’s going to stay on 41 as his final-round 70 just wasn’t enough. Hale Irwin is the all-time Champions leader with 45 victories.

ALLY CHALLENGE: Leaderboard | Schedule

The shot of the day came courtesy of Vijay Singh. On the par-5 555-yard 16th hole, Singh ripped a 3-wood for his second shot from the fairway and landed his ball on the green, then watched it bounce three times before trickling in for an albatross. That shot got him to 5 under on the day and 13 under for the week. He would finish par-par for a 67.

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The round of the day was the 8-under 64 posted by Steve Flesch. He had eight birdies in all, four on each side. It was the fifth 64 posted this week.

Defending champion Jim Furyk, who earned his first Champions win in his circuit debut at this event in 2020, shot 65-71-70 to finish tied for 10th.

Barron, who won two weeks ago at the Shaw Charity Classic, finished 14 under and tied for fourth while playing this week with his mind admittedly elsewhere.

“I’m playing with kind of a heavy heart. My sponsor, my dearest friend, had a stroke last Sunday and he’s in ICU, and really his son told me to play this week for him,” he said after his round Saturday. “So, Mr. George Brian, I’m just thinking of him. He owns Waverly and a course called Mossy Oak in West Point, Mississippi. Really just thinking about him all day.

“And my son gets deployed next week, I’m going to see him tomorrow [Sunday] night. I’ve got a lot of things on my mind.”

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