Tom Lehman rallied to win the PGA Tour Champions' season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship on Saturday, taking advantage of David Toms' closing three-putt bogey in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Lehman closed with his second straight 7-under 65 for a one-stroke victory over Toms.
"As a competitor, you don't want to win that way. Honestly, you don't," said Lehman, 59. "You love winning. I'm not going to give the trophy back, but you would rather make a putt than have somebody miss a putt. So I felt bad for him because I thought he played extremely well."
Four strokes ahead of Lehman entering the round, Toms finished with a 70. His long first putt on the par-4 18th went 7 feet past, and he missed the comebacker, giving Lehman his 12th victory on the 50-and-over tour.
"Hate to end up that way on the last hole," Toms said. "Trying to make it [the first putt] because I figured if I made it, I had a chance to win right there. Never even entered my mind that I was going to three-putt."
Lehman finished at 17-under 199 at windy Hualalai. He birdied Nos. 13, 14 and 16 and closed with two pars.
"I like the fact that the wind was blowing," Lehman said. "I always feel like when the wind blows, my chances get better. Historically, I've always been a real steady ball-striker, and when the wind blows, that's what you really have to do."
Toms made seven straight pars before the finishing bogey.
"Hit a lot of good putts on the back nine that I didn't make, and Tom played great," Toms said. "I told you yesterday standing right here somebody was going to play good today and I had to play really well. I shot 16-under par for the tournament in some pretty tough wind."
Bernhard Langer and 2018 winner Jerry Kelly each shot 67 to tie for third at 14 under.
Ko cards front-nine 30
Lydia Ko shot 30 on the front nine to catch the leaders and stayed bogey-free for a 5-under 66 to share the lead with Eun-Hee Ji going into the final round of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Ji also shot 66 at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons. They were at 13-under 200.
Ko closed with seven straight pars. "I felt like there were a few putts that I thought I holed and it didn't go in," Ko said. "But I holed a really long one on 8 — that one, I probably didn't deserve — so everything balances out."
Brooke Henderson was poised to make it a three-way tie at the top until she made bogey on the par-3 closing hole for a 69, leaving her a shot behind.