Former Airline star David Toms picked a good tournament for his first win on the Champions Tour.
Toms, 51, won the U.S. Senior Open by one stroke Sunday over Jerry Kelly, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Tim Petrovic in Colorado Springs, Colo. The U.S. Senior Open is one of five tournaments designated as majors on the Champions Tour, which is for players 50 and over. It was Toms’ 35th start on the Tour.
Toms went into the final round in second, one stroke behind Kelly. He shot an even-par 70 on the East Course at Broadmoor and finished the 72-hole event at 3 under.
Toms shot 70 and 71 in the first two rounds with his son, Carter, caddying for him. Toms’ caddie, Scott Gneiser, was unable to go because of an illness. He returned for the final two rounds.
“You’re part of this,” Toms told Carter, an LSU golfer, as he hugged him on the green after sinking a three-foot par putt on 18. Toms’ wife, Sonya, and daughter, Anna, also received big hugs.
Toms made a big move in Saturday’s third round with a 66. The victory was Toms’ first since his last victory on the PGA Tour, The Crowne Plaza Colonial, in 2011 in Fort Worth. Toms has won 13 times on the PGA Tour, including the 2001 PGA Championship.
“First of all, it’s been a long time, obviously, the last time I held a trophy,” Toms said during the medal and trophy presentation ceremony. “To do it in a USGA event is even more special. I didn’t really have the patience for U.S. Opens early in my career. I got better at it as my career went on. Never won one, but I got close. To finally have one just means my patience is probably where it needs to be, finally.”
The victory didn’t come easily. A half dozen golfers were packed tightly at the top of the leaderboard coming down the stretch.
Toms took the lead for good with a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th. After hitting his drive on the par 4 17th in a bunker with a lie just in front of the lip, Toms layed up in front of the green. He hit his third shot within 20 feet of the pin and then sank the pressure-packed putt.
Toms was happy to have his family with him to share the victory. “It’s always great to have your family,” he said. “Summer time is really the only time I have my family out. To have Carter on the bag … you know I got off to a bad start on Friday, and he said, ‘You’re going to make bogeys in a U.S. Open,’ … sounds like something I used to tell him. Certainly he was a big part of it, and to have Scottie back and healthy the last two days that’s what got me over the hump.”
— Staff Reports, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Feature Photo: David Toms hugs his long time caddie Scottie Gneiser after sinking a par putt for a 3 under par finish Sunday evening to win the 39th U.S. Senior Open at The Broadmoor (East Course) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
David Toms hugs wife Sonja as his children (daughter, Anna and son, Carter) look on with Toms’ caddie Scottie Gneiser.
David Toms proudly hoists the champions trophy wearing the traditional U.S.G.A champions gold medal around his neck marking his first win on the PGA Tour Champions as the winner of the 39th U.S. Senior Open.