May 30, 2016 / 1:27 AM / 3 years ago

Golf: Mediate wins first Champions Tour major

(Reuters) - Rocco Mediate holed out from a greenside bunker at the par-three 17th for birdie to close out a wire-to-wire victory at the Senior PGA Championship in Michigan on Sunday.

The 53-year-old, who claimed his first Champions Tour major, posted a five-under-par 66 in the final round for a 19-under tournament record total of 265, beating Sam Snead’s score of 268 set in 1972.

Mediate finished three shots in front of two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie (67) and was the first wire-to-wire winner at the event since Jack Nicklaus in 1991.

German Bernhard Langer (67) and American Brandt Jobe (68) tied for third at 13-under.

“The bunker shot, ... it was perfect,” said Mediate, who had looked in danger of dropping shots at the 17th before holing out from the sand. “That hole was good to me this week. I hit a couple of funny shots there and I made a par and a birdie.”

Mediate, a six-time PGA Tour winner, said the experience of losing the 2008 U.S. Open in a 18-hole playoff to Tiger Woods had helped him close out the win over Montgomerie, who has won three senior majors since joining the Champions Tour in 2013.

“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Mediate said. “I played some of the best golf in my life that day and lost. Okay, to the best player in the world at that time.

“But today I’m playing against pretty much the player in the world of our age. Bernhard, obviously too, but Colin doesn’t make a whole bunch of mistakes.”

Reporting by Tim Wharnsby, Editing by Peter Rutherford

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