Vijay Singh, a 34-time winner on the US PGA Tour and the owner of three Major titles, hadn't won anything for 10 years when he finally came through at the PGA Tour Champions' Toshiba Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club on Sunday.
The now bespectacled 55-year-old former World No 1 from Fiji captured his first individual over-50s title when he shot a 6-under 65 to close with a three-round, 11-under 202 that was one shot better than the 203s posted by Americans Tommy Tolles (65), Tom Pernice Jr. (69) and Scott McCarron (68).
Another American, David Toms, placed fifth at 8-under after shooting a 67.
"I guess it's a relief," said Singh, who has continued to play more golf on the PGA Tour rather than on its over-50s circuit and whose last win came on the PGA Tour at the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston on September 1, 2008.
"I always knew I was going to win out here. It was just a matter of time. I haven't been consistent enough and I haven't played consistently enough either out here on this Tour.
I played last year a few more than I did in previous years. I was going to play a lot more this year anyway, so this is a good start and hopefully, I'm going to win a few more."
Sing was tied for 4th and was two shots off the pace set by Pernice when he teed off on Sunday.
Pernice, who had led the first as well as the second round and who, on four of the five occasions when he had been in this position on the Tour Champions, had gone on to win, couldn't do it this time.
In his sixth attempt at the feat, he started the final round with a wobble, bogeying the first hole, and then doing it again at the 9th and it left him trailing behind Tolles who had picked up five birdies on his first nine holes to storm past everyone as he sought to claim his first win since 1994.
In the end, however, it was to be Singh who came through, his closing 66 being that one shot too good for Tolles, Pernice and the rest of the chasing pack.
LEADING FINAL SCORES
(Par 71 - US unless stated)
202 Vijay Singh (FIJ) 68 68 66
203 Tommy Tolles 67 71 65, Tom Pernice Jr. 64 70 69, Scott McCarron 67 68 68
205 David Toms 72 66 67
206 Rocco Mediate 71 68 67, David Frost (RSA) 67 71 68, Steve Jones 68 69 69, Fran Quinn 67 70 69
207 Carlos Franco (PAR) 71 69 67, Joe Durant 69 66 72
208 Jeff Sluman 72 68 68, John Huston 73 70 65, Tom Byrum 68 71 69, Stephen Ames (CAN) 72 67 69, Kevin Sutherland 72 67 69, Scott Verplank 67 9 72
209 Lee Janze 71 70 68, José María Olazábal (ESP) 69 70 70, Corey Pavin 73 71 65, Esteban Toledo (MEX) 70 69 70.
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