Playing a near-perfect final round which included a hole-in-one on No. 12 by Joe Durant, the team of Billy Andrade and Durant pulled away from the field on the final day to win the 38th annual Bass Pro Shop Legends of Golf by three strokes over Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam, the 36-hole leaders. Their bogey-free 9-under-par 45 broke the previous mark for lowest 18-hole score on the Top of the Rock Course. The previous low was 6-under-par 48 by Jay Haas/Peter Jacobsen and Jeff Sluman/Fred Funk a year ago. Their front and back-nine scores of 4-under-par 23 and 5-under-par 27 were also new records.
With their victory Joe Durant and Billy Andrade each earn 230 points in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup race as well as a first-place check for $230,000 each. The win also earned both players a berth in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for two years.
Before today, Joe Durant’s last victory on the PGA TOUR came at the 2006 FUNAI Classic at the WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort, a period of eight years, six months and four days, while Billy Andrade’s last victory was at the 2000 Invensys Classic at Las Vegas, a span of 14 years, six months and 11 days.
This marks the first time that both members of a team had earned their first Champions Tour victories in this tournament. It was Billy Andrade’s 28th start on the Champions Tour and Joe Durant’s 17th.
The win ended a winless streak of 274 events on Tour by Billy Andrade and 177 events by Joe Durant.
Both Joe Durant and Billy Andrade were four-time winners on the PGA TOUR. Andrade’s best previous finish was a second place at last year’s Shaw Charity Classic where he lost in a playoff with Fred Couples, while Durant was T2 at last year’s Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.
Billy Andrade and Joe Durant’s 54-hole total of 19-under-par 159 matched the winning score of last year’s champions Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk.
Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam birdied the final hole and it helped them claim sole possession of second place. The pair led by two strokes after 36-holes but could not hold off the Sunday performance of Andrade and Durant. The second-place finish was a best for both Lyle and Woosnam on the Champions Tour. They were T3 here in this tournament in 2008 when it was staged in Savannah.
A year after finishing second to Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe in the Legends Division, World Golf Hall of Famer Larry Nelson and his partner Bruce Fleisher went wire-to-wire to win the title this year. Nelson and Fleisher finished with a 45-hole total of 12-under-par 139 which was three better than the team of World Golf Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Nelson and Fleisher each won $60,000 in the 11-team division, while Nicklaus and Player each won $34,000.
Joe Durant aced No. 12 with a 7-iron from 166 yards today. Dale Douglass had one a year ago on the second hole. Durant now has six holes-in-one in his career. His lone ace on the PGA TOUR came in the opening round of the 2009 RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.
Moments after Durant made his ace, Mike Reid aced No. 17 with a 4-iron from 194 yards. It was Reid’s second hole-in-one on the Champions Tour. His other came at the 2005 JELD-WEN Tradition in Oregon. Reid had three on the PGA TOUR — 1980 Houston Open, 1985 Los Angeles Open and 1985 Manufacturers Hanover Westchester Classic.
The last time the Champions Tour had a pair of aces in one event was earlier this year at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic (Jerry Smith in first round and Rod Spittle in the final round). The last time there were two in the same round was in the final round of the 2009 Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach – Allen Doyle and Jeff Sluman.
Jeff Sluman, who was seeking his third successive win in this event with a different partner, fell short in his bid. Sluman teamed with Tom Lehman to finish T5.
Olin Browne maintained his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup race with 443 points despite a T23 finish. Bart Bryant remained in second place with 431 points and Mark O’Meara is third with 391 points. Joe Durant moved into fourth place with the win with 365 total points.
Sandy Lyle/Ian Woosnam and Colin Montgomerie/Mark O’Meara made the most birdies (19).
Bob Gilder and Bobby Wadkins were bogey-free after 36 holes, but their streak of consecutive holes without a bogey ended on No. 15.
Mark Calcavecchia and his partner Steve Lowery were T23 after the opening round, but the duo finished T3 after shooting 12-under-par over the weekend.