U.S. Senior Open: Colin Montgomerie wins in dramatic fashion at Oak Tree National

With a 16-foot putt on the third playoff hole Sunday, Montgomerie bested Gene Sauers and won the U.S. Senior Open. It was a dramatic end to a sensational week at Oak Tree National, which was hosting its first major event since 2006.
by Jenni Carlson Published: July 13, 2014

— Colin Montgomerie raised his arms into the air, his putter still in hand.

Soon after, he had the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy in hand.

With a 16-foot putt on the third playoff hole Sunday, Montgomerie bested Gene Sauers and won the U.S. Senior Open. It was a dramatic end to a sensational week at Oak Tree National, which was hosting its first major event since 2006.

For Montgomerie, it was his second major championship in as many tries on the Champions Tour. In his lengthy career on the PGA Tour, he never won a major.

“This is a great, great golf course,” Montgomerie said. “Very, very difficult, and if anybody thinks these senior majors are easy to win, believe me, come out here and try it … because it’s a great standard of golf.”

Montgomerie needed extra holes to win for the first time in an event staged by the United States Golf Association, the group that hosts U.S. Opens on both the PGA and Champions tours. He fell just short of winning the U.S. Open three times with runner-up finishes in 1994, 1997 and 2006.

And he nearly finished second Sunday. Sauers, who had a three-shot lead after Saturday’s third round, had a birdie putt on the 18th hole that would’ve won the championship.

It hit the lip and curled out.

Sauers and Montgomerie, who were both 5-under after 72 holes, went to a three-hole playoff. Starting at No. 16, both bogeyed the hole, but on No. 17, Sauers bogeyed again after putting his tee shot on the par-3 into the bunker. Montgomerie made par and took a one-shot lead in the playoff.

Both players missed the green with their approaches on No. 18. Montgomerie’s chip from the thick rough came up well short, and when Sauers stuck his within a couple feet, it looked as if Sauers might get that shot back and the playoff might continue.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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