Technically, Mark O’Meara paired up with Nick Price to win the Legends of Golf in April. But the 53-year-old O’Meara broke through for his first individual win on the Champions Tour today, beating Michael Allen on the opening playoff hole after sinking a four-footer for par.
And it wasn’t just any tournament. It was the last Champions Tour major of the year: the Senior Players Championship.
“It’s a thrill. It’s been a long time coming,” O’Meara said of his first individual win since the Dubai Desert Classic in 2004. “This is a demanding course. It’s a class field. It’s a senior major championship. So I feel like I hit the jackpot.”
O’Meara shot 7-under in the four-day tournament at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. He led by as many as three strokes on the back nine, but Allen birdied three of the final five holes (and missed two makable tries) to force a playoff.
The two-time major champion and 16-time winner on the PGA Tour had nine-second place finishes in four years on the Champions Tour.
“You can’t control the other player, but there does come an element of luck,” O’Meara said. “You can play well, and just somebody else does something more spectacular. It kind of seemed that way. I never gave away a tournament when I had a chance to win, it’s just that somebody else did something better.”
Strangely, I don’t think AP photographers covered the tournament. At least I can’t find any photos that they shot. Enjoy O’Meara winning the Masters.