Doug Barron fired a bogey-free, 6-under 66 in the final round of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open in Endicott, N.Y., on Sunday to claim his first Champions Tour title in his second senior start.
Barron, who turned 50 on July 24, finished the 54-hole tournament at En-Joie Golf Club at 17-under 199, two strokes ahead of a charging Fred Couples, who shot 63 on Sunday.
Barron became the first Monday qualifier to win a Champions Tour event since 2012 and the first ever to lead wire-to-wire. He also claimed $307,500 in winnings and earned an exemption for the 2019 season.
The Memphis, Tenn., resident had not played in a PGA Tour affiliated event since 2012. He tied for fifth at the Senior British Open last month in his Champions debut.
Best known for becoming the first player to be suspended by the PGA Tour after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Barron’s victory comes after he had none in 238 PGA Tour starts and 137 Korn Ferry Tour starts. He served a one-year ban for the positive test in 2009, though he said the beta blockers and testosterone found in his system were prescribed due to an existing heart condition.
After finishing up a weather-delayed second round of 68 on Sunday morning, Barron headed back out on the course and made three birdies on each side of the card. His birdie putt at No. 15 gave him the outright lead over Couples, and another birdie at No. 17 made it a two-stroke edge, allowing for a stress-free finish at the 18th.
Couples climbed from 16th to start the round all the way to a solo second finish, making four birdies on the front nine and five on the back nine in a bogey-free day.
Woody Austin took third place at 13 under after shooting 67, and Scott McCarron (69) and Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie (66) shored fourth another stroke back.
Defending champion Bart Bryant, who also won the event in 2013, shot 70 to finish at even par and tied for 47th.
–Field Level Media