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2012 Mitsubishi Championship final round highlights

David Eger getting ready to tee off on Sunday. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)


* Jan. 20-22 at Kaupulehu, Hualalai Golf Course
Charles Schwab Cup points: 307
Purse: $1,800,000
Par/Yards: 36-36—72/7,107

Weather: Sunny with highs in the low-80s and winds from the WSW in the afternoon at 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph.

Dan Forsman went to the top of Mauna Kea, one of the world’s highest volcanoes, early in the week. He went a bit higher on Sunday afternoon at Hualalai, winning the season-opening event on the 2012 Champions Tour. Forsman played steady golf throughout the day and won the tournament when he managed to get up and down from greenside bunkers twice on the back nine.

At the par-5 14th hole, Forsman hit a spectacular third shot from the sand to within a foot for birdie. Forsman’s key birdie moved his margin back to three strokes after Jay Don Blake had birdied the par-4 15th hole just moments earlier.

Forsman then saved par from the back greenside bunker at No. 16 to maintain a two-stroke cushion over Blake who would go on to sink a 25-foot birdie at the final hole to post 13-under. Forsman then made two pars on the last two holes for the victory.

Final Leaderboard: 1) Dan Forsman/201 (-15); 2) Jay Don Blake/203 (-13); T3) Michael Allen & John Cook/204 (-12); T5) Gary Hallberg & Jeff Sluman/205 (-11)

Dan Forsman won his third career title on the Champions Tour and first since the 2010 Regions Charity Classic, ending a victory drought of 36 starts or one year, eight months and six days. His best finish in two previous appearances at this event was a T16 last year. Forsman only had one top-10 finish last year on the Champions Tour, a T4 at the Montreal Championship.

Dan Forsman earned 307 Charles Schwab Cup points and his first-place check for $307,000 was his largest on the Champions Tour. He also earned a return trip to the Mitsubishi Electric Championship for the next two years.

Dan Forsman’s winning total of 15-under 201 was the highest to claim the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai since 2000 when the late George Archer triumphed by two strokes with a 9-under 207 total.

Dan Forsman’s lowest 54-hole scores on the Champions Tour:
Event Score Eventual Finish
2010 Regions Charity Classic 196 (-20) Won
2011 Montreal Championship 200 (-16) T4
2012 Mitsubishi Electric Championship 201 (-15) Won

Residents of Utah went 1-2 this week at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai as Dan Forsman (Provo) and Jay Don Blake (St. George) did The Beehive State proud. For Blake is was his third time in the last six events finishing either first or second.

A winner of the Songdo IBD Championship and the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship late last year, Blake almost duplicated defending champion John Cook’s feat from a year ago of winning the last event and the first official event of the following season.

Mark Calcavecchia’s closing 66 Sunday vaulted him up into a T7 this week at Hualalai, his seventh straight top-10 finish on the Champions Tour dating back to his victory last fall at the Boeing Classic near Seattle. He’s now been par/better in his last 14 rounds dating back to the 2010 campaign.

For the second straight year, the defending champion at Hualalai finished T3 the next year. John Cook made a spirited run at winning a second consecutive title, carding a 68 that included 31 on the back nine. In 2011, Tom Watson was T3 at this event and it proved to be the best effort by a defending champion last year.

Tom Watson was T7 this year at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, his ninth career top-10 at this event and third straight. Watson has the most top-10 finishes by a player in tournament history. His check for $60,000 this week increased his career earnings at this event to $1,078,083. Hale Irwin is still the tournament’s all-time leading money-winner with $1,132,937 while Dana Quigley is still second with $1,079,446.

Loren Roberts carded a 3-over 75 Sunday, ending his run of consecutive sub-par scores at Hualalai at 20 consecutive.

For the 12th consecutive year, the winner of this event has carded three rounds in the 60s and for the sixth time in the last seven years, the tournament winner has come from the final pairing. The lone exception during this stretch was John Cook last year (third-to-last grouping).

Breezy conditions produced a field stroke average of 72.000 on Sunday compared to 69.512 on Saturday and 69.610 on Friday. Overall, the cumulative stroke average of this year’s event was 70.374 compared to 68.746 last year.

The hardest hole at Hualalai this year was the par-3 5th hole, yielding just five birdies during the week. The stroke average at No. 5 this year was 3.634 vs. 3.246 last year when it played as the most difficult for the field.

Statistically Speaking: Bob Gilder and Bernhard Langer paced the field in Driving Accuracy this week (37/42 fairways, 88.10%) … David Eger and Dan Forsman hit the most Greens In Regulation (44/54, 81.48%) … John Cook and David Frost led the field in Putts Per Round, averaged only 26 per day … John Cook, Michael Allen, Jeff Sluman and Mark Calcavecchia all had 18 birdies this week, the most in the field … Olin Browne was the only player to make three eagles … Dan Forsman had the fewest birdies over 54 holes with just two.

Quote Of The Day

“I was really humbled to think I could be on top of this field of guys I’ve admired and competed against all my professional life. The chance to be on top of a distinguished group of players like this is something I’ll always cherish. You’ve got to be blessed to have opportunities like this and I feel like I am. I really do.” — Dan Forsman after winning the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai

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(Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Tom Lehman, teeing off on hole #1 on day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Brad Faxon teeing off at 11:35 today on the 1st hole, day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Michael Allen and Jay Haas. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

John Cook on day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Dan Forsman, 2012 champion, on day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Denis Watson watching his ball on the 1st hole, day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Tom Watson, day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Tom Lehman on the 1st hole, day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

Loren Roberts, 1st hole, day 3. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7 by Brad Ballesteros)

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