Sacramento-native and Morton Golf Foundation Board Member Kevin Sutherland made a 4-foot birdie putt on the ninth playoff hole to beat Paul Broadhurst on Monday in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship held at the Phoenix Country Club in uncharacteristically chilly Arizona.
After six playoff holes resulting in ties, Sutherland and Broadhurst were forced to return to finish the final PGA Tour Champions event of the year when darkness called off the playoff on Sunday night. They picked up where they left off and tied two additional playoff holes to kick off a chilly morning in the desert, the second with dueling birdies.
Sutherland finally broke through on the ninth playoff hole, hitting his 163-yard approach shot from the fairway to 4 feet. He made the putt to win his fourth PGA Tour Champions title after Broadhurst got up-and-down for par from short of the green. Sutherland then made his putt for birdie to finally end the tournament and pocket the $375,000 first-place prize.
“I hit a 7‑iron that I’ll remember a long time. I can’t hit it any better and it happened to get in there nice and close underneath the hole, which made the putt a lot easier.”
The victory was the second for Sutherland at Phoenix Country Club. He won there in 2017 to clinch the season title.
“I love this place,” said Sutherland of host venue Phoenix Country Club. “It kind of reminds me of a golf course I play in Sacramento a little bit. It’s kind of this perfect square golf course kind of in the middle of
town and it has a lot of similarities. So it kind of feels a little bit like home a little bit. And I’ve played well here, so it makes you feel even better.”
A native of Sacramento, Sutherland, 56, was a junior and collegiate champion before beginning his pro career in 1987. Much of his junior golf was learned at played at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, where he would win the 1984 California State Fair Golf Championship. Sutherland was the winner of the 2002 World Match Play Championship on the PGA Tour, and 2017 Charles Schwab Cup Championship on the PGA Tour Champions, Sutherland has earned close to $24 million in his career earnings and this year is among the leading Champions circuit players again.
Sutherland led by five shots over Wes Short Jr. after a second-round 64, but he labored through his final round. He rallied to make a 25-foot putt on No. 18 to force the playoff and finish off a 2-under 69.