Jimenez hangs on to take Sanford for 10th Champions win

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez birdied the 16th hole to retake the lead and he parred out from there to win the Sanford International at Sioux Falls, S.D., on Sunday for his 10th career PGA Tour Champions win.

Jimenez’s tap-in birdie on 16 moved him to 14-under par for the tournament, one stroke better than Steve Flesch. Despite Flesch being two strokes better on the day (7-under to 63 to Jimenez’s 5-under 65), the Spaniard’s lead entering the day held up, giving him his second win of the season.

Flesch finished his 54 holes at 13-under 197, followed by German Bernhard Langer (65 on Sunday) and American Steve Stricker (67), who both finished at 12 under. American Scott Parel (62) was in fifth at 11 under. Stricker, the co-leader with Jimenez entering the day, posted five birdies but also had a pair of bogeys.

After nearly sinking a long birdie putt on 18, Jimenez tapped in to close out the event, then saluted the crowd sitting in grandstands around the 18th green at Minnehaha Country Club. Despite missing out on the birdie, Jimenez still beat Stricker’s tournament-record 197 by a stroke. Stricker set the record at the inaugural event in 2018.

The Sanford Invitational was the first Champions Tour event to have fans in attendance since the return from the coronavirus pandemic.

Jimenez was steady from the get-go Sunday, parring his first three holes before birdying the par-5 fourth. He also birdied the par-4 ninth before the hole that put him in position to win, No. 12. After driving to the right edge of the fairway to give him the best line to the hole, the 56-year-old put his approach within six feet. He then sank that for an eagle 3.

Defending champion Rocco Mediate shot 65 on Sunday to finish the tournament at 7 under, tied for 17th.

John Daly, who earlier this week revealed he is battling bladder cancer, shot a 2-under 68 on Sunday to finish tied for 12th at 8 under.


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