Lee Janzen Wins 2015 ACE Group Classic!

Lee Janzen made a clutch 8-foot birdie on the 54th hole to tie Bart Bryant and then took advantage of a miscue by Bryant on the first playoff hole to win the ACE Group Classic. Bryant had posted a 16-under-par score of 200 and led Janzen by one stroke as Janzen headed to No. 18. After hitting his 9-iron from 140 yards to eight feet he drained his putt to force a playoff. After each hit their drives in the playoff, Bryant’s second hit railroad ties in front of 18 and caromed into the water opening the door for Janzen. Janzen then hit his 7-iron to 40 feet and two putted for the win.

With his victory, Lee Janzen wins a Tour event for the first time since the 1998 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, a span of 16 years, 7 months, 25 days. This was his 413th start since his victory and that includes all three Tours.

His victory also earns him a berth in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai for the next two years as well as 240 Charles Schwab Cup points and the $240,000 first prize.

Janzen has won in Naples previously. He teamed with Rocco Mediate, a teammate at Florida Southern, to win the 2002 Franklin Templeton Shootout which was held at Tiburon Golf Club.

This was Janzen’s eighth start on the Champions Tour and he wins the event at age 50 years, 5 months, 18 days. His previous best finish was a T6 at last year’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

By winning on Sunday, Lee Janzen kept an impressive streak alive. The winner of The ACE Group Classic has now come out of the final grouping in each of the last 15 years. The last time it didn’t happen was in 2000 when Lanny Wadkins needed a final-round 64 to rally from three strokes back and eventually triumphed in a playoff.

Lee Janzen becomes the 12th player to have won The ACE Group Classic in his first attempt. He joins Gary Player (1988), Lee Trevino (1990), Hale Irwin (1997), Allen Doyle (1999), Lanny Wadkins (2000), Craig Stadler (2004), Mark James (2005), Loren Roberts (2006), Fred Couples (2010), Kenny Perry (2012) and Kirk Triplett (2014).

Janzen is also the fourth player to win his first Champions Tour title in Naples: Allen Doyle (1999), Lanny Wadkins (2000) and Fred Couples (2010) are the others.

Bart Bryant tied the tournament-course record when he finished with a 10-under-par 62 on Sunday. Larry Mize set the mark in 2012 and it was later matched by Kenny Perry and Bernhard Langer. Bryant’s 62 matched his career low on the Champions Tour. He originally posted a 62 at the 2013 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and he later matched it at the 2014 Shaw Charity Classic.

Bart Bryant made an eagle on the par-4 opening hole, sinking a 9-iron from 148 yards.

Greg Kraft enjoyed a nice finish in his Champions Tour debut. Kraft, who open qualified earlier in the week, closed with a 4-under-par 68 to finish T18.

Bernhard Langer, who was T5 after two rounds, withdrew prior to the start of Sunday’s final round due to a family matter.

Colin Montgomerie bid to go wire-to-wire in this event ended when he finished with an even-par 72 and dropped to fifth place.

Gene Sauers has now posted 17 consecutive rounds par/better dating back to the 2014 season. He shot a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday.

The most difficult hole on Saturday was No. 2 with an average score of 3.300 (+.300). There were just two birdies – Jose Coceres and Grant Waite.

With his T10 finish Tom Byrum earned a berth in the upcoming Tucson Conquistadores Classic for a player not otherwise exempt.

There were 22 rounds in the 60s and 46 players finished below par on Sunday and the field averaged 71.893 for the event. A year ago the average was  71.738.

Final Results:

1 Bart Bryant -16 70 68 62 200

Lee Janzen -16 68 65 67 200

3 Esteban Toledo -14 69 67 66 202

4 Scott Dunlap -13 69 67 67 203

5 Colin Montgomerie -12 66 66 72 204

6 Kevin Sutherland -11 72 67 66 205

7 Marco Dawson -9 69 71 67 207

Olin Browne -9 71 66 70 207

9 Michael Allen -8 69 70 69 208

10 Jeff Sluman -7 73 69 67 209

Tom Byrum -7 74 67 68 209

Paul Goydos -7 69 70 70 209

Jeff Maggert -7 72 65 72 209

14 Tom Pernice Jr. -6 75 67 68 210

Brad Bryant -6 71 69 70 210

16 Roger Chapman -5 75 66 70 211

Sandy Lyle -5 70 70 71 211

18 Greg Kraft -4 71 73 68 212

Jose Coceres -4 70 73 69 212

Jerry Smith -4 71 72 69 212

Rocco Mediate -4 72 70 70 212

John Cook -4 72 69 71 212

Tommy Armour III -4 67 72 73 212

Stephen Ames -4 71 67 74 212

25 Brian Henninger -3 70 74 69 213

Fuzzy Zoeller -3 71 72 70 213

Rod Spittle -3 71 71 71 213

Jay Haas -3 73 68 72 213

29 Jeff Hart -2 71 73 70 214

Frank Esposito -2 73 70 71 214

Gene Sauers -2 72 71 71 214

Larry Mize -2 76 72 66 214

Duffy Waldorf -2 73 68 73 214

Kirk Triplett -2 68 72 74 214

Gary Koch -2 72 67 75 214

36 Gil Morgan -1 74 71 70 215

Joey Sindelar -1 73 73 69 215

Mark O’Meara -1 71 72 72 215

Mike Goodes -1 71 75 69 215

Mark Brooks -1 72 70 73 215

Wayne Levi -1 74 68 73 215

David Frost -1 71 70 74 215

43 Bob Tway E 71 75 70 216

Jay Don Blake E 74 73 69 216

45 Dan Forsman +1 70 75 72 217

John Riegger +1 71 75 71 217

Chien Soon Lu +1 73 70 74 217

Corey Pavin +1 74 73 70 217

Scott Hoch +1 73 69 75 217

Sonny Skinner +1 77 71 69 217

51 Wes Short, Jr. +2 69 76 73 218

Gary Hallberg +2 74 72 72 218

Billy Andrade +2 73 74 71 218

Bob Friend +2 76 71 71 218

Steve Pate +2 78 70 70 218

56 Bob Gilder +3 71 73 75 219

Bobby Wadkins +3 69 75 75 219

Blaine McCallister +3 75 72 72 219

John Huston +3 73 75 71 219

John Harris +3 73 76 70 219

Loren Roberts +3 73 78 68 219

Jim Rutledge +3 77 74 68 219

63 Jeff Coston +4 73 72 75 220

Mark Wiebe +4 76 72 72 220

65 David Eger +5 75 73 73 221

Steve Lowery +5 81 69 71 221

67 Bill Glasson +6 76 71 75 222

Peter Senior +6 76 72 74 222

Dana Quigley +6 78 73 71 222

70 Russ Cochran +7 74 76 73 223

71 Peter Jacobsen +8 77 73 74 224

Hale Irwin +8 76 77 71 224

73 Craig Thomas +9 78 74 73 225

Curtis Strange +9 76 77 72 225

Tom Purtzer +9 73 83 69 225

76 Brad Faxon +11 74 75 78 227

77 Nolan Henke +15 80 77 74 231

78 Hal Sutton +16 80 75 77 232

79 Ben Crenshaw +17 78 78 77 233

80 Grant Waite +18 78 82 74 234

WD Bernhard Langer -7 71 66 137