KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii — John Cook caught David Frost on the final hole of regulation, then beat him with birdie on the second playoff hole to win the Mitsubishi Electric Championship on Sunday.
Cook closed with a 5-under-67 at Hualalai Golf Club to catch Frost at 17-under 199. Cook drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.
Frost shot 69, not able to match Cook’s birdie on the 54th hole of the Champions Tour season-opener.
Frost had held the lead alone since the 12th hole Saturday.
Both birdied the first playoff hole (No. 18) from inside 10 feet and went to the 17th tee. Cook hit his tee shot about 15 feet left of the hole and drained it after Frost had come up short with his birdie try.
Cook won $309,000 for his ninth victory on the senior tour. He did not have bogey all week while Frost went bogey-free over his last 48 holes.
Bernhard Langer chipped in on the last hole to finish third alone at 200. He started six back and bogeyed two of the first three before getting birdies on nine of the next 11 holes and finishing with a 64.
Fred Couples was five back going into the final round and also had two early bogeys. He rallied with an eagle and six birdies. That run died with a three-putt bogey at the 17th and he was fourth after a shooting a 67 and finishing at 202.
Kenny Perry was the first to make a move Sunday. He started the day in 14th place but surged into fifth with six birdies and an eagle. His 64 matched Langer’s score as low round of the week. Perry finished four back with Kirk Triplett.
Mitsubishi Electric Championship
At Hualalai Golf Course
Purse: $1.8 million
Yardage: 7,107; Par 72
(x-won on second playoff hole)
x-John Cook, $309,000 66-66-67—199 -17
David Frost, $187,000 65-65-69—199 -17
B. Langer, $133,000 68-68-64—200 -16
F. Couples, $111,500 66-69-67—202 -14
Kenny Perry, $86,500 67-72-64—203 -13
Kirk Triplett, $86,500 66-68-69—203 -13
R. Cochran, $71,500 67-70-69—206 -10
Tom Lehman, $62,500 66-71-70—207 -9
S. Elkington, $46,150 68-69-71—208 -8
Jay Haas, $46,150 68-69-71—208 -8
Hale Irwin, $46,150 70-68-70—208 -8
Tom Kite, $46,150 66-69-73—208 -8
Corey Pavin, $46,150 68-71-69—208 -8
Joe Daley, $32,175 69-72-68—209 -7
Fred Funk, $32,175 69-69-71—209 -7
Larry Nelson, $32,175 69-70-70—209 -7
Mark O’Meara, $32,175 70-70-69—209 -7
Willie Wood, $32,175 66-72-71—209 -7
Mark Wiebe, $26,125 70-73-67—210 -6
Jeff Sluman, $24,125 69-72-70—211 -5
Loren Roberts, $22,625 72-69-71—212 -4
Jim Thorpe, $22,625 71-73-68—212 -4
Jay Don Blake, $20,125 71-72-70—213 -3
Craig Stadler, $20,125 70-71-72—213 -3
Tom Watson, $20,125 69-74-70—213 -3
Olin Browne, $17,083 73-71-70—214 -2
R. Chapman, $17,083 70-73-71—214 -2
Mike Reid, $17,083 73-70-71—214 -2
M. Calcavecchia,$15,250 71-70-74—215 -1
John Huston, $15,250 67-75-73—215 -1
Brad Faxon, $14,500 69-76-71—216 E
Michael Allen, $13,500 70-80-67—217 +1
Dan Forsman, $13,500 73-73-71—217 +1
D.A. Weibring, $13,500 71-73-73—217 +1
E. Romero, $12,250 73-73-72—218 +2
B. Vaughan, $12,250 73-72-73—218 +2
Bob Gilder, $11,250 75-69-76—220 +4
Curtis Strange, $11,250 69-74-77—220 +4
David Eger, $10,750 71-75-76—222 +6
Ben Crenshaw, $10,500 78-74-73—225 +9
Brian Gay wins
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Brian Gay found the extra distance he was looking for without sacrificing control.
That was clear late Sunday afternoon in the Humana Challenge when Gay cracked a 300-yard drive down the center of the fairway to set up a birdie on the first playoff hole.
A few minutes later, he split the fairway with a 297-yarder and made another birdie to hold off Charles Howell III for his fourth PGA Tour title.
“I’m still in a little bit of shock,” Gay said. “It kind of happened so fast there at the end the way things went down. Last year was a struggle. It was a long year, a lot of work. I just wanted to come out this year kind of refocused, recharged, and believing in myself.”
Gay won on the par-4 10th, putting his 9-iron second shot 5 1/2 feet below the hole. Howell drove into the right rough, hit into the back bunker, blasted out to 15 feet and two-putted for bogey.
The 41-year-old Gay, hardly an imposing figure at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, worked hard last year with Grant Waite and Joe Mayo to increase his driving distance.
“My whole game’s been about accuracy and short game,” Gay said. “I’ve always been a short hitter on the tour and I felt like as I was getting older I’m only going to get shorter and shorter. ... It was tough last year trying to play making those changes.”
Gay closed with a 9-under 63 on PGA West’s Arnold Palmer Private Course to match Howell and Swedish rookie David Lingmerth at 25-under 263. Howell shot a 64, and Lingmerth had a 62.
Lingmerth dropped out with a bogey on the first extra hole — the par-5 18th — after hitting his approach into the left-side water.
Scott Stallings, five strokes ahead entering the round, bogeyed the final hole for a 70 to miss the playoff by a stroke. Gay began the round six strokes behind Stallings.
“The thoughts were, ‘Just be aggressive, shoot as low as you can,’” Gay said.
Howell tied for second a week after opening the season with a third-place tie in Hawaii in the Sony Open. He won the last of his two tour titles in 2007.
“Anybody that says that that golf is fun or whatever, has really not done it for a living,” Howell said. “I would never characterize this as fun. It’s different than that. It’s awfully challenging mentally.”
After birdieing nine of the first 13 holes, Gay finished regulation with five straight pars. On the 18th, he hit into the right greenside rough, chipped past the hole and missed an 8-foot birdie try.
“I felt like I gave one back with a par on 18,” Gay said. “I was happy to be in the playoff.”
Given a second chance, he outlasted Howell for his first victory since the 2009 St. Jude Classic. He also won the 2008 Mayakoba Golf Classic and 2009 Verizon Heritage.
Playing in the second-to-last group, Howell had a chance to pull ahead on the final hole of regulation, but left his approach about 85 feet short and three-putted for par. His 5-foot birdie try made a sharp left turn inches from hole.
Phil Mickelson had a 66 to tie for 37th at 17 under in his season debut.
“I was rusty starting the year,” Mickelson said. “I had a great four days here where I can work on my game with perfect weather and wonderful golf courses, where I could build some momentum. Heading into San Diego, I feel a lot more confident.”