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Fred Couples wins Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic

March 17, 2014

NEWPORT BEACH, California (AP) — Fred Couples won the Toshiba Classic on Sunday for his 10th Champions Tour title, making birdie on the final two holes for a one-stroke victory.

The 54-year-old Couples closed with a 5-under 66 to finish at 15-under 198 at Newport Beach Country Club. Also the 2010 winner, he made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th and holed another 4-footer on the par-5 18th.

“I worked pretty hard but I drove it all over the lot,” Couples said. “I made some putts and when you do, you have a chance.”

Couples had to scramble on the final hole to take the outright lead. After hitting his approach over the green, he hit a flop shot to set up the birdie putt.

“I hit a 6-iron and it was way too much club,” Couples said. “To get up-and-down from there for me was kind of miraculous.”

Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Steve Pate tied for second. Langer had a chance to force a playoff, but missed a 20-foot birdie try on 18 and settled for a 70.

“I knew where I stood,” the German said. “I asked someone and they told me Freddy birdied. I just hit a bad shot.”

Montgomerie had a 62, the best round of the week, and Pate shot a 66.

Couples became the second two-time winner in tournament history. Hale Irwin won in 1998 and 2002.

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