MADISON, Miss. — Woody Austin's spent the past few years living the life of a golf nomad, not knowing when his next opportunity to play on the PGA Tour would come.
Those days are over for a while.
The 49-year-old Austin won the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory since 2007, beating Cameron Beckman and Daniel Summerhays with an 8-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff.
"It's been a long road and a long time," Austin said. "Now I've got a job again."
Austin is the eighth-oldest winner in PGA Tour history and the oldest since Fred Funk won at 50 in 2007. The victory gave him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a spot in the PGA Championship — not to mention a $540,000 paycheck.
Not bad for a guy who hadn't even made a cut on the tour this year.
Austin came into the final round two shots behind Summerhays and Nicholas Thompson, but made up ground with a 5-under 67 to finish at 20-under 268. His final round didn't start particularly well — he bogeyed No. 2 — but he recovered with an eagle on No. 5 and birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 to vault back into contention.
"My iron play is my strength and it was there this week," said Austin, who has four career victories. "I was able to maneuver the ball around, get the ball close to the flag. The most important part of the game is putting and I putted good this week, plain and simple."
Beckman and Summerhays both birdied No. 18 to match Austin, and Beckman missed a 5-foot putt that would have forced a second playoff hole.
Beckman shot 67, and Summerhays had a 69.
Summerhays and Thompson started the day tied for the lead, two shots ahead the pack.
But Thompson fell out of contention quickly with a double bogey on No. 5 and a bogey on No. 8. He finished fourth at 18 under, two shots back after a 71. Summerhays moved into the lead with a birdie on No. 9, but made bogey on 14 and fell behind until making birdies on both Nos. 17 and 18.
It was the second straight week Summerhays failed to close a tournament after having at least a share of the lead on the final day. His drive on the playoff hole — the 532-yard, par-5 18th — found the bunker on the right side of the fairway and he hit into the water on his second shot.
He tied for fourth the week before at the John Deere, a stroke out of a playoff after bogeying the final hole.
"It's tough to swallow for sure, but again, it's my first playoff and there are all these new 'firsts,'" Summerhays said. "Hopefully I can continue to learn and grow."
Summerhays praised Austin for making clutch putts in the final round.
"You've got to be kidding me — he's 49 years old and kicking all our butts," Summerhays said. "Hats off to him."
Austin wasn't the only veteran making a move on the final day.
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Milwaukee||68||3rd Qtr 8:42|
|New York||56||3rd Qtr 7:22|
|Denver||11||2nd Qtr 12:00|
|Montreal||0||2nd Prd 9:38|
|Winnipeg||2||2nd Prd 8:08|
|Boston||2||2nd Prd 5:54|
|Nashville||0||1st Prd 8:30|
|Boston Univ||45||2nd Half 11:47|
|Fla Atlantic||37||2nd Half 10:55|
|Youngstown St||45||2nd Half 12:00|
|East Tenn St||44||2nd Half 8:46|
|Saint Louis||35||2nd Half 11:48|
|USC Upstate||57||2nd Half 12:46|
|High Point||52||2nd Half 9:18|
|Central Conn St||52||2nd Half 3:53|
|Western Ky||43||2nd Half 9:11|
|Dayton||48||2nd Half 7:05|
|Chattanooga||44||2nd Half 10:07|
|Wofford||46||2nd Half 8:30|
|Maryland||44||2nd Half 11:45|
|FIU||41||2nd Half 9:43|
|Fair-Dickinson||44||2nd Half 9:00|
|Mount St Marys||46||2nd Half 9:50|
|Bryant||52||2nd Half 9:03|
|Northern Ky||53||2nd Half 9:58|
|Coll of Charleston||41||2nd Half 7:46|
|Western Carolina||62||2nd Half 12:17|
|Sacred Heart||45||2nd Half 11:28|
|Lipscomb||40||2nd Half 10:23|
|Fla Gulf Coast||52|
|Kennesaw St||48||2nd Half 7:50|
|Appalachian St||16||2nd Half|
|Holy Cross||18||2nd Half|
|Eastern Ill||22||2nd Half|
|Jacksonville St||16||1st Half 7:57|
|Connecticut||14||1st Half 7:55|
|Rider||15||1st Half 8:30|
|SIU Edwardsville||22||1st Half 7:02|
|SE Missouri St||24|
|Marshall||24||1st Half 7:48|
|Tenn Tech||13||1st Half 8:39|
|Middle Tennessee||15||1st Half 10:29|
|Ill-Chicago||15||1st Half 8:23|
|Weber State||12||1st Half 8:36|
|Denver||13||1st Half 7:30|
|North Dakota St||13|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||19||1st Half 7:01|
|Louisiana||25||1st Half 9:15|
|Georgia State||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:30 PM|
|Eastern Ky||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Chicago State||8:05 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|(6) Tennessee||45||2nd Half 11:31|
|(24) Oklahoma||48||2nd Half 11:35|
|Nebraska Omaha||47||2nd Half 3:57|
|UC-Riverside||48||2nd Half 10:20|
|Army||53||2nd Half 7:21|
|New Orleans||33||2nd Half 5:16|
|Charlotte||32||2nd Half 18:49|
|Towson||41||2nd Half 4:03|
|Hofstra||43||2nd Half 11:56|
|New Hampshire||54||2nd Half 5:18|
|Albany||72||2nd Half 8:08|
|Hartford||51||2nd Half 8:27|
|UNC-Wilmington||51||2nd Half 4:07|
|William & Mary||60|
|Clemson||39||2nd Half 15:00|
|Alabama||40||2nd Half 11:32|
|(1) South Carolina||58|
|(23) Syracuse||43||2nd Half 10:21|
|Missouri||40||2nd Half 11:52|
|Iona||61||2nd Half 3:32|
|Manhattan||25||2nd Half 8:25|
|NC State||60||2nd Half 3:38|
|(4) Notre Dame||58||2nd Half 10:50|
|(22) Rutgers||44||2nd Half 9:39|
|(5) Maryland||68||2nd Half 9:14|
|Milwaukee||38||2nd Half 11:40|
|Wright State||84||2nd Half 9:36|
|Jacksonville||38||2nd Half 13:23|
|North Florida||36||2nd Half 5:32|
|Stetson||36||2nd Half 9:55|
|Loyola-Maryland||36||2nd Half 7:55|
|Sam Houston St||34|
|Fla Gulf Coast||31||2nd Half|
|Incarnate Word||7:00 PM|
|McNeese State||7:00 PM|
|Vanderbilt||11||1st Half 9:44|
|(18) Miss State||14|
|IUPUI||10||1st Half 7:23|
|Abilene Christian||20||1st Half 6:51|
|Oral Roberts||17||1st Half 7:10|
|South Dakota St||20|
|Louisiana Tech||15||1st Half 9:47|
|TX-San Antonio||13||1st Half 8:18|
|Texas-El Paso||19||1st Half 5:40|
|Auburn||10||1st Half 9:59|
|Grand Canyon||13||1st Half 9:19|
|Illinois||18||1st Half 10:07|
|(20) Iowa||29||1st Half 8:20|
|Utah Valley U||12||1st Half 11:55|
|Green Bay||24||1st Half 7:07|
|Ole Miss||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Ohio State||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|