O’Meara grabs first senior win

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Mark O’Meara and Nick Price beat Joey Sindelar and John Cook in a play-off to win the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

Mark O’Meara and Nick Price beat Joey Sindelar and John Cook on the second play-off hole to win the better-ball Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf on Sunday.

Both teams had closed with the same 54-hole total of 188, O’Meara and Price shooting a 62 and their rivals a catch-up 61, before both bogeyed the first playoff hole on a wet and windy day.

They returned to play the 18th once more, where Price finally clinched victory with a par putt from about seven feet.

Ken Green, who was playing in his first tournament since the horrendous car crash 10 months ago that killed his brother, his girlfriend and his dog and saw his right leg amputated below the knee, was never in contention and with his partner, Mike Reid, battled on the final day to a 71 after having shot earlier rounds of 66 and 67.

But the Champions Tour’s new amputee could be proud of his first effort at a comeback as he and Reid tied for 26th to finish in front of seven other able-bodied teams, a good few of them containing former major winners.

It was O’Meara’s first win since joining the Champions Tour in 2007.

“It’s very special, obviously,” O’Meara said. “I’ve been practicing hard and I’ve finished second a number of times. Having Nick as a partner out there helped a lot. To be honest, I was relaxed out there.”

For O’Meara, the 1998 Masters and Open winner, it was his first win on any tour since his victory at the European Tour’s 2004 Dubai Desert Classic.

“I felt like the timing was right, because we’re both playing pretty well,” said Price, who rolled in a vital 40-foot putt for eagle on the seventh.

“I’m really happy for Mark and I’m happy because it’s been over a year since I’ve won.”

There was a moment of anguish for the winners, though, when they looked as if they might lose out.

On the final green Cook only needed to hole a four-foot putt to win the title in the regulation 54 holes. He missed, of course, and his rivals survived.

“Yes, we dodged a bullet there,” Price said. “I feel bad for John, too, because he was probably playing the best of all of us today.”

Playing in rain and heavy wind, both teams bogeyed the first playoff hole and returned to play the 457-yard 18th again

“It was probably playing 500 yards today,” Price said. “It was at least 20 yards of wind on each shot, and it was two clubs. And it’s just so hard to keep the ball on that green. I was very relieved when my seven-footer for par went in and we won.”

Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman (63) and Fred Couples-Jay Haas (64) tied for fourth at 23 under.

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