Forsman Wins AT&T Champions Classic
Dan Forsman birdied the first playoff hole to win the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club on Sunday.
Tournament decided in playoff, third in a row at Valencia Country Club.
Dan Forsman won the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country on Sunday by making a birdie on the first playoff hole and beating Don Pooley.
Forsman called his playoff birdie a “moment of redemption.” He three-putted the 18th green earlier in the tournament. Getting a chance to make birdie on the 18th hole to win the tournament made it all the more special for Forsman, who won for the frst time on the Champions Tour.
Forsman shot a 6-under 66, the lowest round of the final day of the tournament. The key hole came on the 17th. He made birdie, his seventh of the day, and moved into a tie for first with Pooley. He also made key birdies on the third and ninth holes.
He said making a birdie on the third hole at Valencia Country Club “has the makings of a good day.”
Pooley had a chance to win the tournament in regulation. He had a birdie attempt on the 18th hole, but it came up short. He made par to force the playoff.
It was the sixth playoff in the AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club and the third in a row. Denis Watson won last year's AT&T Champions Classic in a three-way playoff.
On Sunday, Pooley had a two-shot lead with three holes to play, but his tee shot on the par-3 16th hole went in the water. He had to chip on and made bogey to drop into a three-way tie for the lead
“I hit a horrible shot, obviously, on 16,” Pooley said.
He called it a fat-toe, a five iron that came up short and landed in the water hazard in front of the green. He hit an eight iron on to the green and made a short bogey putt. Even though he lost his outright lead, Pooley said the bogey “kept me in the hunt.”
Pooley and Forsman parred the 18th hole to force a playoff. Forsman's tee shot went into the rough and he was forced to lay up in front of the green. Pooley’s tee shot landed in the fairway, but he decided to hit a hybrid and lay up too.
Forsman’s approach shot ended up in the back of the green about 12 feet from the hole. Pooley’s approach shot was pin high, about five feet out.
“I counted on him making his putt,” Forsman said. “I knew I had to make mine.”
Forsman’s made his birdie putt, putting the pressure on Pooley to make his to force another playoff hole. Pooley said he was confident he could make his putt.
“I thought I won right there,” Pooley said. “I felt like I had the upper hand there all the way. He made a great putt, right in the heart.”
But Pooley hit his putt a little too hard. It headed for the right edge, but didn’t go in.
“I hit it firm, too firm, because it lipped out,” Pooley said. “I did the best I could and the players out here are good.”
Joey Sindelar was the leader after 36 holes. He shot an 8-under par 64 to lead after the first day of the tournament and was 10-under par after the second round. Sindelar finished in a three-way tie for fourth at 9-under for the tournament.
Jay Haas was third at 10-under par.
Fulton Allem and Ben Crenshaw, who shot 5-under par in the final round of the tournament, were tied for fourth with Sindelar. Ken Green finished in seventh at 8-under.
Tom Purtzer and Bernhard Langer tied for eighth at 7-under and Jeff Sluman was 10th at 6-under.