KA’UPULEHU-KONA, HAWAII | Normally, the
Mitsubishi Electric Championship is a birdie-fest and the winner has to go way low to win.
But this year, pars were good enough down the
stretch for Dan Forsman to capture the Champions Tour’s opening tournament of the year.
Forsman shot a final-round 69 for a two-shot victory over Jay Don Blake. Forsman
posted rounds of 67-65 on the first two days for
a 54-hole total of 201, 15-under par over the
par-72 Hualalai Golf Course on the Big Island
of Hawaii. Forsman won $307,000 of the $1.8
It was Forsman’s third Champions Tour
victory of his career. And he did so without
much of a threat from the pursuers.
He started Sunday’s final round with a two-shot lead over Brad Bryant and Jeff Sluman.
the final pairing.
Forsman opened the final round with a
birdie and built as much as a five-shot lead
around the turn. A birdie at the par- 5 14th gave
him a three-shot cushion and pars the rest of
the way were good enough to hold off Blake,
who birdied the final hole in his second straight
5-under 67. Blake came on late with a back-nine 33 to finish at 13-under 203.
After winning one tournament in each of his
first two years on the Champions Tour, Forsman, 53, had only one top- 10 finish in 2011 and
placed 45th on that tour’s money list at the end
of the season.
Tom Lehman and Bruce Vaughan shared the
first-round lead at 7-under 65 and it looked as if
the tournament’s traditional low scoring would
take off from there. But winds got up over the
next two rounds at Hualalai, particularly during
Sunday’s final round and no one could go low
enough to catch Forsman.
Gary Hallberg and Mark Calcavecchia got
out early and each posted 6-under 66s in the
final 18 to share low round of the day. Hallberg
tied for fifth with Sluman at 11 under. Calcavecchia tied for seventh.
Defending champion John Cook, who shot
22 under last year to win, finished with a 68 to
tie for third at 12-under 204. He shared that
spot with Michael Allen, who got within two of
Forsman but settled for 69 on the final day.
Tom Watson, who won this event in 2010
at 22 under in a classic shootout over Fred
Couples and was third last year behind Cook
and Lehman, was a T7 at 10 under with Calcavecchia, Bryant (72) and Jay Haas (71).