TUCSON, Ariz. — David Toms posted a 6-under 30 on his front nine Saturday and led by two shots after 36 holes at the 2023 Cologuard Classic.
On Sunday, he led by four through 11 holes and was still up by two when he got to the par-4 18th, rated the most difficult hole on the PGA Tour Champions last season.
And for the third day in a row, the 18th proved trouble for Toms, who drove his tee shot into a lake down the right side of the fairway for the third time.
He said he didn’t see it go in Sunday and only discovered it was wet once he got up there, and that probably helped him avoid thinking about a bad shot for very long.
“It was more about ‘Let’s take our drop, let’s get our yardage,’” Toms said. “My caddie Scott [Gneiser] said ‘Hey man, we’re alright. Let’s hit a good shot here.’”
Toms only had five bogeys over the 72 holes and three of those came on the 18th. After a drop, his approach missed right but he got up-and-down for bogey and that was enough, as Toms closed with a 68 to finish at 15 under and beat Robert Karlsson by a shot. Toms (68-65-68) posted 19 birdies over three days and besides the first-place check, he also won a gold Conquistador helmet, which is the trophy for the tournament.
He sounded excited to be able to bring that home.
“It’s just kinda one of those things. I’ve always paid attention to it, saw the funny pictures of the guys putting it on their heads. I can tell you that my caddie’s got no chance to fit it on his head,” Toms quipped.
Gene Sauers had the best round Sunday with a 64 and tied Mark Hensby for third at 12 under. Doug Barron finished solo fifth at 11 under. Lee Janzen and Marco Dawson tied for sixth at 10 under.
Other notables this week:
Steve Stricker: Tied for eighth (70-66-71)
Brett Quigley: First-round leader bounced back from a second-round 73 with a closing 69
Miguel Angel Jimenez: Tournament’s defending champion shot 70-70-69 to finish 7 under.
Bernhard Langer: A Champions tour record 46th win will have to wait, as he shot 72-68-70 to tie for 19th
Jerry Kelly: tournament ambassador also tied for 19th.
New venue in 2024
The Cologuard Classic announced Sunday that the event will have a new home next season, as the Jack Nicklaus-designed La Paloma Country Club will be the host venue in 2024. The private club is about 10 miles northwest of this year’s locale, Tucson National, which hosted since 2015.
Cologuard had previously announced an extension of its title sponsorship of the event through 2027.