BOCA RATON, Fla. — Rocco Mediate birdied the 18th hole and finished with a 1-under par 71 to win the Allianz Championship on Sunday.
He finished the tournament at 17-under 199 and became the 16th player to have a winning debut on the Champions Tour.
Mediate’s 4-foot birdie putt came after Tom Pernice Jr. missed a 5-footer at No. 18 that could have forced a playoff.
Mediate started the day with a three-shot lead, lost it by the 14th hole, but regained it when Pernice bogeyed the par-4 17th from a greenside bunker. Mediate protected that lead with a birdie on the par-5 closing hole.
“I’m ecstatic,” Mediate said. “I have been saying all week it’s never easy. It shouldn’t be easy. I was prepared to make that putt (at No. 18), but I didn’t have to.”
Pernice, who had a final-round 70, finished tied with Bernhard Langer (68) for second place.
Pernice was the last player to win his Champions Tour debut three years ago, but is still searching for his second title.
“I played better than any other day as far as ball-striking, but I just couldn’t make enough putts,” Pernice said. “Rocco played well; he deserved to win. He battled down the stretch.”
Euro Tour: JOHANNESBURG — Richard Sterne cruised to his first European Tour title in more than four years, winning the Joburg Open by seven shots on Sunday.
Sterne shot a bogey-free 64 to finish with a tournament record total of 27 under at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington golf course and win by the largest margin in tournament history.
“That was probably the best final round of my career,” Sterne said. “It was quite special to finish the way I did.”