CARY, N.C. – Sometimes not winning actually puts you ahead of others.
That was the case last Sunday for Colin Montgomerie at the 2015 SAS Championship.
While Tom Lehman (68-71-65=204) claimed his first SAS Championship title, after putting together one of the greatest finishes in tournament history, Montgomerie earned the outright lead in the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Lehman finished his final round with one of the best shots of the tournament, sinking a 12-foot putt from the fringe to extend his lead.
Almost out of contention midway through the round, he finished birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie on the last four holes.
The win marked Lehman’s first victory this season, and the ninth of his Champions Tour career.
“I’ve had a couple seconds and I’ve had some other good top finishes, but no wins,” Lehman said.
“So it’s just nice to get back in the winner’s circle. It’s nice to see the putts drop when you need them most,” said Lehman. “It’s nice to do it in a place like this with such a great golf course and such a wonderful tournament, great sponsor and great fans. Just a really top, top, top caliber golf tournament. So it’s nice to win this one.”
While Lehman earned 315 Charles Schwab Cup points, moved up four places to 10th in the year-long points race, and collected $315,000 in prize money, Colin Montgomerie pulled ahead in the Cup standings with his 8-under par finish.
Montgomerie and Jeff Maggert were tied in the standings with 2,992 points each coming into the SAS Championship with defending 2014 Schwab Cup holder Bernhard Langer close behind with 2,604.
Finishing three strokes behind Lehman, Langer moved up to 2,742 points and remained close behind both Montgomerie (3,078) and Maggert (3,039) heading into this weekend’s San Antonio Open.
Following second-round play in San Antonio on Saturday, Langer sat tied for third place at 5-under par overall, while Montgomerie finished two strokes behind, tied for 11th.
Maggert withdrew after carding an even-par 72 following first-round play.
According to a Champions Tour social media report, Maggert pulled himself out of the tournament due to a calf injury he suffered six weeks ago.
With two tournaments remaining on the season and knowing he’s in the hunt for his first Cup title, Maggert decided not to continue to avoid risk of further injury.