Gilder wins as Brooks three putts

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In the end, winning the Principal Charity Classic came down to who could nail his putt on 18 – and Bob Gilder did – from 30 feet!

In the end, winning the Principal Charity Classic came down to who could nail his putt on 18 – and Bob Gilder did it with a birdie putt from all of 30 feet.

To his surprise Gilder was able to win this event for the second time after overnight leader Mark Brooks three-putted from 25 feet at the last after having looked to be cruising to victory in just his seventh start on the Champions Tour when he led by three shots with just four holes to play

Unfortunately for the former US PGA Champion, he hit his approach shot into the water on 17, needed to make a tough putt just to make bogey and then three-putted on 18 to gift the title to Gilder.

For the 60-year-old Gilder, who closed with a 6-under 65 for a 14-under 199 total, it was his first win since 2006. .

“It’s been such a long time,” an emotional Gilder said afterwards. “You put in a lot of work as you get older and kind of wonder if you’ll ever do it again.”

Brooks, the leader after the first two rounds, closed with a 68 to edge by a further stroke Mike Goodes and Rod Spittle, who both fired 65s to finish two strokes off the pace.

Mark Calcavecchia, who trailed Brooks by one stroke heading into Sunday, shot 69 and finished three back.

“That was a disaster,” Brooks said.

Gilder’s victory followed 61-year-old Tom Watson’s win in the Senior PGA Championship, and this meant that for the first time ever on the 50-and-over tour two 60-plus golfers have won back-to-back tournaments – and only the 20th time that a 60 or over player has been victorious.

When Brooks only needed to two-putt from 25 feet for a tie and force a play-off, non one would have guessed that he would roll his first putt five feet past the hole and then miss the return putt to a howl of disbelief from the gallery.

“That was one of the few I hit past the hole all week,” Brooks lamented. “The rest were short, short, short. If had putted good today, I would have won by three or four strokes.”

But he failed to do so and Gilder broke his winless drought of four years, eight months and 13 days and ended a slump this year in which his best finish had been a tie for 56th.

“I thought it was going to be a playoff,” Gilder said. “That’s not a good way to lose it for Mark. It’s not a fun way to lose.”

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