Colin Montgomerie won his second Major of the season with a dramatic play-off victory over Gene Sauers at the US Senior Open Championship in Oklahoma
Trailing by four shots overnight after a disappointing third round 74 at Oak Tree National, Montgomerie, a winner of the Senior US PGA Championship earlier in the year, fought back with a closing 69 to set the clubhouse mark at five under.
Overnight leader Sauers had just bogeyed the 16th but, needing a birdie on the final hole for victory, the American fired a magnificent approach to five feet only to see his putt lip out and force a three-hole play-off.
When they went back to the 16th, both players drove into the fairway bunker and bogeyed.
Montgomerie edged ahead at the par three 17th despite missing a 12 foot birdie effort, with American Sauers running up another bogey after finding trouble from the tee.
And an up-and-down par at the 18th saw Montgomerie complete victory with Sauers two feet away in three.
“That’s the third USGA play-off and third time lucky I guess,” said Montgomerie, who was denied by Ernie Els in a play-off for the US Open 20 years ago.
“All credit to Gene Sauers - brilliant play yesterday and he held on today on the way in, as I did. This is a great golf course and if anyone thinks these senior majors are easy to win come out here and try it!
“It’s a great standard of golf out here. It’s fantastic to finally win a USGA event – it’s been a great summer.”
In regulation play, eight-time European Number One Montgomerie had a birdie at the second but that was cancelled out by a bogey at the next, before the Scot saved par from 15 feet at the fourth.
Sauers dropped shots at the third and fifth but made a 25 foot par save in between.
With the rest of the field falling away, Montgomerie almost holed his second to the par five seventh for albatross but two-putted for birdie, while Sauers matched him in the group behind after an excellent chipped third.
Former Ryder Cup Captain Montgomerie threatened an ace at the 13th, but his tee shot eventually finished five feet from the cup to set up a simple birdie.
Sauers was bunkered off tee at the 16th and bogeyed, before missing his golden opportunity at the 72nd hole.
South African David Frost finished well with a one under par 70 to tie for third with Woody Austin on one under.
But Germany’s Bernhard Langer was unable to celebrate his country’s world cup victory in winning fashion as a closing 77 saw him slip into a tie for ninth.