Colin Montgomerie fired an impressive final round 62 but just missed out on a maiden victory on the US Champions Tour as Fred Couples won the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club.
Couples, the 2012 Senior Open Champion, birdied the last two holes for a 15 under par winning total of 198 to claim the title by one stroke from Montgomerie, American Steve Pate and Germany’s Bernhard Langer.
After starting the final round with a two stroke lead, Langer had a chance to force a playoff, but missed a 20-foot birdie try on 18 and settled for a 70.
Montgomerie’s 62 was the lowest round of the week and began with four birdies in his opening five holes. He then picked up further shot on the 12th, 13th and 15th holes before finishing with back-to-back birdies for his best finish on the Champions Tour.
Ultimately though he came up one birdie short, as Couples earned his tenth victory on the Champions Tour, winning the Toshiba Classic for the second time after also claiming the title in 2010.
"It was a great day," Couples said. "I was a little salty out there at times. I assumed someone would get to 16 under. I'm just happy I made some birdies."
American Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson carded a superb second round of 63 – one shot lower than his age – as he finished in a share of 20th position alongside Englishman Roger Chapman, the 2012 European Senior Tour Order of Merit winner.