Schwab Cup headed to Monday finish after 6 playoff holes

Golf

PHOENIX (AP)Kevin Sutherland and Paul Broadhurst traded missed birdie putts as the sun raced toward the horizon, each time agreeing to keep playing despite the decreasing visibility.

After six playoff holes, it was just too dark to see the ball anymore.

Now the PGA Tour Champions season will last at least another day.

The final round of the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship will be played on Monday after Sutherland and Broadhurst kept making pars as darkness fell.

”As quick as I’ve ever played six holes,” Broadhurst said. ”I didn’t dream we’d get six holes in. I thought a couple holes (about stopping).”

Broadhurst played a superb final round on Sunday, erasing a six-shot deficit with a bogey-free 63 in the season finale for the over-50 tour, which won’t crown a champion until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sutherland stumbled through the early part of the round to lose an overnight five-shot lead over Wes Short Jr., but closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th hole to shoot a 2-under 69.

Broadhurst and Sutherland finished at 15-under 198.

After all those birdies, neither could get anything to fall in the playoff.

The darker it got, the quicker Sutherland and Broadhurst seemed to play as they tried to avoid the tournament getting pushed into Monday. They even rode in carts to their second shots to speed up the process.

They finally agreed to call it when Broadhurst missed an 8-foot birdie putt on No. 18 and Sutherland dropped in a 4-footer for par.

The darkness had won.

”We played them really fast,” Sutherland said. ”Just seemed like we couldn’t make a putt. We had some opportunities for birdie, but neither one of us could find a way to make one.”

Plenty happened before the sun went down.

Sutherland, who once shot 59 on the PGA Tour Champions, opened with a 6-under 65 in benign conditions on Friday. He was even better when the wind picked up Saturday, shooting a 64 as scores around him soared.

On a chilly Sunday, Sutherland couldn’t take advantage of good scoring conditions early, allowing the field to pull closer. He opened with five straight pars and a bogey on the 460-yard par-4 sixth dropped him to 12 under.

Broadhurst took a unique approach to putting, looking at the hole rather than the ball while making his stroke.

It certainly worked early as he holed one putt after another.

Playing in the group ahead of Sutherland, Broadhurst had five birdies in the first eight holes to tie for the lead. A long birdie at the par-3 eighth hole moved him into a tie with Sutherland, but a pulled short birdie putt on No. 9 cost him a shot at the outright lead.

”I played great today,” Broadhurst said. ”I started off really well. I played the front nine well all week.”

Sutherland made his first birdie by dropping in a 4-foot putt on the long par-4 10th to take the lead back.

Broadhurst made a short birdie putt at par-3 13th to tie it again, then made another birdie on No. 16 for the lead.

Sutherland poured in a birdie putt from a similar length right behind him, tying it at 15 under.

Broadhurst wasn’t done.

He hit his tee shot on No. 17 into the left the rough, but punched a shot under tree limbs to about 12 feet. Broadhurst pumped his first as the ball came to rest and he made the birdie putt to go back up a shot.

Sutherland wasn’t done, either.

He had to lay up from a fairway bunker on No. 18 and looked away in disgust as his third shot fell short left. He made the putt, though, and had an excited reaction of his own after forcing the playoff.

”Obviously, the long putt on 18 to get into the playoff was pretty much the highlight of my day,” Sutherland said.

Then the missed putts and darkness came.

Now the finish won’t come until Monday.

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