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McCarron slips past Langer to win Senior Players

(Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

(TSX / STATS) -- Bernhard Langer was in position to win the Constellation Senior Players Championship for the fourth consecutive year, but Scott McCarron finished with a flourish and Langer stumbled down the stretch in the final round on Sunday in Owings Mills, Md.

McCarron closed with a 6-under-par 66 to claim one of the majors on the PGA Champions Tour by one stroke over Langer, the dominant player on the tour, and Brandt Jobe. The winning total was 18-under 270 at Caves Valley Golf Club.

Langer ended up with an uncharacteristic 1-over 73. His chance to force a playoff on the 18th hole vanished when his 6-foot birdie putt circled the cup but wouldn't drop.

The 59-year-old German started the day in the lead and opened a three-shot margin after birdies on two of the first five holes. However, he bogeyed the 13th hole -- his first bogey in 31 holes -- and double-bogeyed the 17th after hitting his tee shot into the water on the par-3 hole.

"I thought I hit a really good putt," Langer said. "Hit a good chunk of the hole, too. But the big issue was 17, hitting a horrible shot there and then missing a 6- or 7-footer for bogey. That was the killer."

Jobe closed with a par 72 to tie with Langer for second at 17-under 271. He missed opportunities to get into a playoff when he bogeyed No. 17 and was unable to make a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

McCarron ran off four straight birdies starting at No. 2 and added two more at Nos. 9 and 10. Langer's only two birdies were at Nos. 2 and 5.

The major championship was the first of the 52-year-old McCarron's career.

"I thought it was a very difficult task to catch him or pass him," McCarron said of Langer, "but I thought if I go out there and have a good stretch on the front nine and maybe put a little pressure on these guys, that you never know what happens, it's golf."

McCarron entered the final round six shots out of the lead. That tied the largest deficit the winner has overcome in Senior Players Championship history.

"To come from that far behind, especially with Bernhard Langer, is really something special," McCarron said.

"I've been working so hard for this. That was one of my goals this year, to win three events and one of them being a major. So I've got one more event to go."

Langer was bidding for his 10th major title on the Champions Tour and could have become the first player in 90 years to win the same major four consecutive years. He previously won two majors this year.

"I played the same way I played the last few days, pretty aggressive, smart, whatever," Langer said. "You know, I lost it. It's very simple.

"This is going to hurt for a little while because it was within my grasp to win the championship. All I had to do was come home in even par more or less. Twenty under would have done it. But it's easier said than done."

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a final-round 66 to finish fourth at 272, three ahead of Steve Flesch, who closed with a 68.

Joe Durant (67), Fred Funk (67) and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie (68) tied for sixth at 277.

Updated July 16, 2017

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