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HomeLatestAlex Cejka survives situations, playoff to win The Senior Open

Alex Cejka survives situations, playoff to win The Senior Open

(Photo credit score: Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Alex Cejka of Germany in all probability did not go to mattress Saturday night time pondering he might shoot a 76 on Sunday and win The Senior Open Championship.

But Cejka, the 54-hole chief, enjoying with rain falling and the winds gusting as much as 40 mph, did simply that to win the championship at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club in Bridgend, Wales — his third profession main title on the Champions Tour.

As if 5 bogeys and a double bogey blended amongst two birdies weren’t sufficient drama for Cejka, he needed to survive a two-hole, sudden demise playoff towards Padraig Harrington of Ireland to win.

Cejka’s event complete of 5-over par 289 matched the very best of any PGA Tour Champions winner since Arnold Palmer on the 1981 U.S. Senior Open.

Despite the dreadful situations that deteriorated because the day wore on, two-time Open champion Harrington missed a putt for eagle and birdied the par-5 18th gap to complete with a 75 and pressure the playoff.

Cejka birdied the second playoff gap whereas Harrington needed to accept par after leaving his chip shot from off the inexperienced properly in need of the outlet.

“I still can’t believe it,” Cejka stated. “It’s been a really tough week. It’s been a really tough two days. I can’t believe I’m standing with the trophy here. Seeing all those great names on the trophy, coming in here with all the pictures and everything, all the guys who won it before me, and now holding it myself, it’s surreal.”

This is the second Champions main Harrington has misplaced in a playoff this season, with Steve Stricker beating him to win the Senior PGA Championship in May in Frisco, Texas.

But Royal Porthcawl was much more unforgiving on Sunday than it was on Saturday, and no person broke par for the second straight day. That marked the primary time for the reason that 1999 Open Championship {that a} PGA Tour or Champions Tour occasion noticed a number of rounds the place the bottom rating was par.

The last spherical scoring common of 78.515 on Sunday was the third-highest by Champions gamers since 1980.

“I tried to make good shots but it’s almost impossible to make good shots in conditions like this,” Cejka stated with a chuckle. “In the end I lost it a little bit. I didn’t make really good shots coming in but I made some beautiful par saves. I didn’t want a playoff, especially against Padraig, but I’m glad it’s over and I’m just super happy.”

Cejka entered the fourth spherical with a one-stroke lead over Harrington, Phillip Archer of England, former World No. 1 Vijay Singh of Fiji and second-round chief Steven Alker of New Zealand.

Singh fired a 6-over 77 to complete third at 7 over par, his finest spot on the leaderboard since a T3 on the 2022 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai.

Michael Jonzon of Sweden shot 75 to complete fourth at 8 over. He’s competed in three Champions occasions. Phillip Price of Wales, making his tour debut, shot 76 to complete tied for fifth with Archer (79) at 9 over.

–Field Level Media