CALGARY, Alberta — Paraguay’s Carlos Franco rallied to win the Shaw Charity Classic on Sunday at chilly Canyon Meadows for his first PGA Tour Champions victory.
Three strokes behind defending champion Jeff Maggert entering the round, the 51-year-old Franco shot his second straight 7-under 63 to beat Bernhard Langer and Michael Allen by two strokes.
“I saw Bernhard Langer, I saw (Tom) Watson, I saw the other guys. I say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have to play good,'” Franco said. “Winning on the Champions Tour is not easy because everybody is a winner here. Especially, Bernhard Langer. This guy can play so well.”
Franco birdied the par-5 18th to finish at 18-under 192. He had three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine, birdied four of the first five on the back nine and made his lone bogey on the par-3 16th. The four-time PGA Tour winner won in his 25th start on the 50-and-over tour.
“I’m so happy I finally won my first tournament on the Champions Tour especially here in Canada,” Franco said. “A long time ago, I don’t win a tournament. I lost my game for a couple years and it came back again this week.”
Langer shot 64. The 59-year-old German star won the Boeing Classic last week for his fourth victory of the year and 29th overall on tour.
“I played really good golf today, shot 6 under the last 10 holes and really gave it a go to win the tournament, but Carlos was just too good today,” Langer said. “He drove the ball phenomenal and then his putting was exceptional, so it was tough to catch him.”
Allen closed 64-63 after opening with a 67. He enjoyed his stay in Alberta.
“It was wonderful. I think this is the premier event on our tour, besides the majors and this is as good as them,” Allen said. “The weather turned out great. I’ve got to go back to Phoenix, going to be 105. I love Calgary.”
Maggert shot 74 to tie for sixth at 10 under. He opened with consecutive 63s.
“Putting is really the main thing,” Maggert said. “A lot of two-putts today. I think I two-putted every green, just all around the edges.”
Watson shot 67 on his 67th birthday to tie for 26th. He had a 65 on Friday.
“Any time you shoot your age, it’s kind of fun,” Watson said. “Where’s the birthday cake? I was looking for a birthday cake here.”
John Daly tied for 53rd at 1 under after a 74.