Couples makes it a one-horse race

In the end Fred Couples made a one-horse race out of the AT&T Championship, winning it by all of seven shots.

In the end Fred Couples made a one-horse race out of the AT&T Championship, his flawless, third and final round 6-under 66 giving him victory by all of seven shots.

Second-placed Mark Calcavecchia, also shot a 66 at the TPC San Antonio’s Canyons Course in Texas.

So too did Charles Schwab Cup points leader Tom Lehman and John Cook, the men who tied for third place.

But it was never going to be enough to stop the runaway Couples winning his second Champions Tour victory this season and his sixth since his entry into over-50s golf last year.

Couples, who has been given a new lease of life since having some special treatment for a life-long back ailment in Germany earlier this year, opened with rounds of 65 and 62 to finish at 23-under and claim the largest winning margin in any event on the Champions Tour this year.

“I haven’t had a seven-shot lead since ’92 or ’90 or whenever the heck it was,” said Couples, whose spectacular second round 62 had put him seven up at the start the day.

“I may never ever get another one (seven shot win). It’s a weird feeling, and I was kind of unnerved (on the front side). But once we got to the back nine I played much better and I pulled away to a lead that was plenty.”

The closest anyone got to Couples on Sunday was Calcavecchia who reduced Couples’s lead to four shots when he holed a 12-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole, but Couples then hit back with birdies of his own on five of the last eight holes, including the final two, two pick up his second seven-stroke victory in two years. Last year he did it at The Woodlands outside Houston.

And there was more.

Couples’ 54-hole total of 193 broke the tournament record of 195 set by Mark McNulty in 2005 on the par-71 Oak Hills Country Club course.

Sunday’s AT&T Championship was the final full field event on the Champions Tour.

The top 30 in the point standings will now head to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco from November 3-6