Tom Purtzer needed all of his record-tying first round to capture the Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic.
“These days don’t come along very often,” Purtzer said March 19 after becoming the fifth Champions Tour player to shoot 60. “So you’ve got to take advantage of them.”
Two days later, Purtzer had captured his second over-50 career title, both in California. Last year, he won the SBC Classic in Santa Clarita.
Purtzer, who started the final round tied with Morris Hatalsky, edged Hatalsky by one shot. Purtzer shot 67 to Hatalsky’s 68. Purtzer followed his opening round with an even-par 71 and was caught by Hatalsky, who shot 66 Saturday. Purtzer finished at 15-under 198 to win $240,000.
During the opening round, Purtzer birdied four of the first five holes to shoot 31 on the front. On the back nine, he birdied Nos. 10, 12, 14 before an eagle at the par-5 15th hole.
“Once I made that eagle I thought I had a chance to shoot 59,” Purtzer said. “I knew I could get home in two on the 18th hole so I’d have a putt at it.”
Purtzer, 52, made birdie at No. 16 to get to 10 under, then parred No. 17.
His 3-iron approach to the par-5 18th went in a greenside bunker and Purtzer was able to get up-and-down for birdie and 60, including a 7-under 29 on the final nine.
Purtzer’s first round was more than 10 shots better than the field average for the day (70.526) and four better than Joe Inman, who was second.
On Sunday, Purtzer birdied Nos. 15 and 16 for a three-shot lead, but bogeyed No. 17. Hatalsky birdied No. 18, and Purtzer tapped in from 6 inches for par and the victory.
Isao Aoki (1997), Walter Morgan and Bruce Fleisher (2002) and Jim Thorpe (2003) also have shot 60s. No over-50 player has shot 59. . . . Hajime Meshiai, an 11-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, made his Champions Tour debut. He shot 2-under 211 and tied for 41st. . . . Gil Morgan has started 2004 with 18 consecutive rounds of par or better. Larry Nelson holds the record with 32 consecutive in 2000. . . . Jim Ahern was disqualified Following Saturday’s play after signing an incorrect scorecard. . . . Dale Douglas, 68, bettered his age for the second time in his career with a final-round 66. In 2001 at age 66, Douglas shot 63.