Lee Janzen tops Miguel Angel Jiménez in playoff at SAS Championship; Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs start next week

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“How?” Lee Janzen said on Golf Channel minutes after winning for the first time in six years.

Consecutive birdies on the 18th hole is how.

Janzen made a long birdie putt from the fringe on 18 at the SAS Championship Sunday to get into a playoff against Miguel Angel Jiménez. Janzen then made another birdie on the first playoff hole to win on the PGA Tour Champions for the first time since 2015.

Starting the final round two shots back of co-leaders Jiménez and Alex Cejka, Janzen opened with a bogey but he made six birdies after that, including the long one on 18 to shoot a final-round 67.

A playoff seemed a bit unlikely after Jiménez made a birdie on the 11th hole to take a three-shot lead. But his irons got a little loose on the back nine, opening the door for others to track him down.

Janzen did just that, cutting the lead to one after making a birdie putt on the 15th hole. Jiménez then bogeyed the 14th, knotting things up at 11 under. Jiménez had a birdie look on 18 in regulation to win it but left it out to the left.

On the first playoff hole, Jiménez hit his drive into a bunker, then pulled his second against the grandstands left of the green. Janzen then hit his approach to a spot close to where he was in 2 on 18 in regulation, although this time the ball ended up on the green.

He calmly rolled in the putt and was incredulous after his round.

“I haven’t had a top-10 in I don’t know how long,” he said. “If you looked at my performance, you’d say ‘I’m not going to pick him this week.’

“But I saw progress lately. Who knew it was going to turn into a win.”

Janzen has one other Champions tour win, the 2015 Ace Group Classic. The SAS was his 157th start on the tour.

This week marked the final regular-season event of a 39-tournament “super season.”

Up next: the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, a three-tournament postseason that starts at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia, next weekend.

The top-72 players on the money list advance to the playoffs but there was room for a wild-card entrant. If any golfer outside the top 72 posted a top-10 finish, he’d make the postseason.

Monday qualifier Thongchai Jaidee poured in a 10-footer for birdie on 18 to shoot a 69 and and finish tied for fifth. He entered the week in the 82nd spot.

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