Darren Clarke wins Sanford International via three-man playoff
9/19/2021 6:04:28 PM EST
Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland made a birdie on the second playoff hole on Sunday to win the Sanford International for his third Champions Tour title of the season.
Clarke, Steve Flesch and South Korea's K.J. Choi headed to a three-way playoff after tying atop the leaderboard at 12-under-par 198 at Minnehaha Country Club in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Flesch could have won the tournament outright with a par on No. 18, but he bogeyed and dropped back into the tie. Then Flesch bogeyed at No. 18 again to open the playoff, which eliminated him from contention.
Choi nearly sank a winning birdie putt on that first go-round, but it drifted slightly left of the cup. He and Clarke returned to the 18th tee, eventually leading to Clarke's short birdie putt to claim the title.
Prior to Sunday, Clarke, 53, had also won the TimberTech Championship last November and the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in January as part of the elongated tour season.
Clarke shot a final-round, 5-under 65. He rebounded from an opening bogey to make six birdies, four of them on the back nine. Choi, the 36-hole leader, managed just a 1-under 69 while Flesch had a 66.
The trio finished two shots ahead of Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez (final-round 66) and Australia's Rod Pampling (69), who tied for fourth at 10 under.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker placed sixth at 9 under with three straight rounds of 67. He'll head from South Dakota to Wisconsin to lead the Americans at Whistling Straits next week.
--Field Level Media
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