NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – After battling through severe winds today at Newport Beach Country Club, 56-year-old Loren Roberts birdied the final hole of the Champions Tour's 18th Toshiba Classic, punctuating a 10-foot putt with a fist pump to secure his 13th Champions Tour victory by two strokes.
Roberts, a San Luis Obispo native and current Tennessee resident, came into the final round in a tie for second with 2010 champion Fred Couples, two shots behind 13-time PGA Tour winner Mark Calcavecchia. Despite three bogeys down the stretch, Roberts finished at 66-70-69—205, 8 under par, to take a two-shot victory, this time over Tom Kite – who made a run up the leaderboard to tie for second at 6-under-par 207 (66-72-69), 2008 champion Bernhard Langer (65-72-70) and Calcavecchia, who slipped with a two-over today to finish 67-67-73.
"I was really happy to birdie 18," Roberts said. "It was nice to knock it in and win by two. That feels a whole lot better birdieing the last hole and winning by two instead of just dribbling it up there. I am just happy I was able to finish it off."
Roberts, whose Champions Tour wins include the 2006 and 2009 Senior British Opens and most recently the 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods Open, played solid through his opening nine holes, carding three birdies and a bogey en route to a two-under 33. On the back, however, despite a four-shot lead after 13 holes, he struggled against wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour, finding bogeys on 14, 16 and 17 after birdieing 11 and 13. In the midst, Kite, a 10-time Champions Tour winner, collected four birdies over his last nine holes, while Langer cancelled out two birdies on the back with a double-bogey on the par-3 17th.