Today, Kevin Sutherland won the Charles Schwab Cup Championship plus the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup on the PGA Tour’s Champions Tour at Phoenix Country Club in Phoenix, Arizona. He shot 15-under par 198 for three rounds to win by one stroke over major championship winners Vijah Singh and Lee Janzen.
Until today, journeyman Sutherland had won only one tournament in 602 tries on the regular PGA Tour and the Champions Tour combined–the 2002 Dell Technologies Match Play on the regular Tour. This was Sutherland’s first win and 78th tournament on the Champions Tour. And he is only the third player to win both the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and the Charles Schwab Cup in the same year.
Even more remarkable, I think, is that Sutherland won the Cup for this year without winning a tournament throughout the entire year until today. That means he had a lot of top ten finishes (I think it was 15) this year, with several being seconds.
Kevin Sutherland is six feet, one inch tall, and he addresses the golf ball bent over as much as any Tour pro golfer I’ve ever seen. That can lead to a bad back after many years. But, apparently, Kevin doesn’t have any problem with it. They say he drives the ball long and straight. That’s a pretty good combination even though straight is good enough at the tree-lined, narrow fairways of the Phoenix Country Club, which is located a short distance from downtown Phoenix, the USA’s sixth largest city.
In my day, the Phoenix Open used to usually be held at Phoenix Country Club. For a short period of time, it rotated back and forth every year between this venue and Arizona Country Club. I think I may have played in seventeen Phoenix Opens in my time on the regular Tour. Until this week, the Phoenix Country Club had not hosted a PGA Tour event of any kind since 1986, when the Phoenix Open (now the Waste Management Phoenix Open) moved to its new and present home at the TPC Stadium Course in Scottsdale. When that happened, the PGA Tour went from playing among the palm trees to playing among just about nothing else but desert and cactus, though both courses have lakes.
Chock up another one for the local company–Kevin Sutherland is a PING player.