Mediate wins Champions Tour debut
Boca Raton, FL (Sports Network) - Rocco Mediate fended off Tom Pernice, Jr. and Bernhard Langer on Sunday to win in his Champions Tour debut at the Allianz Championship.
Mediate posted a 1-under 71 to end at 17-under-par 199. A day after carding a course-record 61, Mediate's total of 199 matched the tournament record, which Langer and John Cook set in 2010.
With the victory, Mediate became the 16th player in Champions Tour history to win in his tour debut.
"I'm ecstatic. I've been saying all week it's not going to be easy. Tom and Bernhard came out fast," Mediate stated. "I can't say I played bad today, but I struggled with my driver, which is usually my best club."
Pernice carded a 2-under 70 to end alongside Langer at minus-15. Langer birdied the last for a 4-under 68.
Last year's champion Corey Pavin and Mark O'Meara both closed with 3-under 69s to share fourth place at 11-under-par 205 on The Old Course at Broken Sound Club.
After four straight pars to start the back nine, Mediate tripped to a bogey after a poor tee shot on the par-3 14th and dipped into a share of the lead at minus-16.
Pernice joined him there with a 12-foot birdie putt on the same hole. The pair remained there with back-to-back pars.
At the 17th, Pernice stumbled to a bogey to fall one behind. Pernice could only par the last to end two back.
"I hit a great shot at 14 to draw even. I hit a good drive at 17, but hit a tree and it went into a bunker," Pernice commented. "I played better today than other days, but didn't make putts. It just didn't go my way, but I'm pleased."
Mediate closed the door in style as he drained a 4-foot birdie try at the par-5 18th to win by two.
"It takes a lot to win. This win is huge. I'm a little bit shocked," Mediate said. "This win means a lot. I want to earn respect of the guys out here. The most nervous I was all day was that 4-footer at 18."
Langer, who parred 11 in a row after his hot start, bogeyed No. 17 and birdied the last to share second.
Mediate led Pernice by two at the start of the day and Pernice quickly cut the deficit to one with birdies at the first and third. Langer birdied the first three holes to get within two of Mediate's lead.
At the fourth, Mediate converted his first birdie effort of the day to push his lead back to two.
Pernice and Langer came right back with birdies at five to get within one and two respectively.
Mediate gained some space when he birdied the par-4 eighth from five feet out, while Pernice tripped to a bogey on the same hole. However, Mediate stumbled to a bogey on No. 9 and was two clear as the final group made the turn.
NOTES: Mediate is the third player in the last five years to make the Allianz his first Champions Tour win ... Only one winner of this event since 2000 has failed to finish in the top 30 on the money list ... Langer has 16 top-10 finishes in his last 17 tour starts ... The tour heads to Naples next week for the ACE Group Classic, where Kenny Perry won by five strokes last year.
02/10 19:32:44 ET