Langer wins Mitsubishi Electric by 1


POSTED: Monday, January 26, 2009

   KAUPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii >> Not looking at a leaderboard until he stepped up to the 14th tee, Bernhard Langer didn’t know he was tied for first with Andy Bean until that moment.

   The German went on to birdie that hole to take a one-stroke lead he wouldn’t relinquish at today’s $1.8 million Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. His final-round 68 left him at 18-under 198 to hold off the hard-charging Bean, who just missed a birdie at the last to draw even.

   Bean’s 66 was the best closing round of the day and could have been so much better had he managed not to just miss more putts than he could count. His 17-under 199 left him two shots clear of Jay Haas (70), who finished third here for the third time in four tries.

   Mark McNulty birdied the last to shoot a stellar 5-under 67 to tie Jeff Sluman (70) for fourth at 14-under 202. Dr. Gil Morgan also fashioned a final-round 66 to tie John Cook (68) for sixth at 13-under 203.

   As crowded as the leaderboard was, this tournament was Bernhard Langer’s to lose as he made the turn for home. He owned the back nine all week and never wavered down the stretch doing what he had to do to keep Bean at bay.

   “I feel great, it couldn’t be any better,” Langer said, who won on the Champions Tour for the fifth time. He pocketed $315,000. “It’s a great way to start the year and get the confidence going. I was very pleased with my putting. It was very solid all week.”