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Pro golfer Steve Flesch wins two-hole playoff to claim first PGA Tour Champions victory

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Professional golfer Steve Flesch of Union sank a birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the Mitsubishi Electric Classic played at TPC Sugarloaf in Georgia and post his first PGA Tour Champions victory.

Steve Flesch (Photo from pgatour.com website)

The 50-year-old left-hander shot a 68 in Saturday’s final round to finish with an 11-under 205 total that put him in three-way tie with Bernhard Langer and Scott Parel at the top of the leader board.

On the first playoff hole, Flesch and Parel made birdie putts and Langer missed a 15-foot try to drop out of contention. On the final hole, Parel took a bogey after his approach shot went into the water. That opened the door for Flesch, who birdied the hole to claim his first championship trophy on the age 50-over tour and his first professional win since 2007.

“You never know if you’re ever going to win again,” Flesch told an Associated Press reporter after the playoff. ”Honestly, it’s been harder than I anticipated winning on this tour. The guys are so good. That Langer guy is hard to beat.”

The tournament’s first-place prize was listed as $270,000. Flesch moves up to No. 8 on the Charles Schwab Cup money list with $330,975 in 22 starts in PGA Tour Champions events.

He became the 14th player to win tournament titles on the Web.com Tour, PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, according to the PGA website. His career earnings are listed as $19,090,006.

Flesch shot a 66 in the first round of the Mitsubishi Electric Classic on Friday. With heavy rain in the forecast for Sunday, tournament officials decided to play both the second and third rounds on Saturday. Flesch shot 71 and 68 in those back-to-back rounds to finish with an 11-under 205 total.

“Any 36-hole day is really tough,” said Flesch, a member of Triple Crown Country Club in Union. ”It’s more mentally taxing to me than physically taxing, especially if you’re in the mix kind of like that all day. I know I’ll sleep great tonight, but mentally I’m more exhausted than physically.”

After joining the PGA Tour in 1998, Flesch won one tournament in both 2003 and 2004 and two in 2007. He is in his second season on  PGA Tour Champions. His best finish this year was 19th before Saturday’s victory. Last year, he placed fifth in two tour events.

Flesch is a graduate of Covington Catholic High School and the University of Kentucky. He was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in December of 2007. That was the year he won two PGA Tour events to become one of only four left-handers to win multiple titles.

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