(Reuters) - Bernhard Langer frittered away a four-stroke lead before sinking a five-foot birdie putt at the second extra hole to win the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
The German edged American Jeff Sluman in the playoff to clinch his third major title on the over-50s Champions Tour.
Langer carded a closing 70 to finish regulation locked with Sluman (65) at 15-under-par 265 at Fox Chapel, one stroke ahead of American Russ Cochran (67).
"It’s very satisfying,” Langer, a two-time Masters champion and former world number one, told Golf Channel.
“You’ve just got to be so patient in this game. On two of the easiest holes I made double bogey and bogey when I had wedges in my hand. That cost me dearly.”
The playoff defeat was a bitter pill for Sluman, whose 12-foot birdie at the first extra hole (the par-five 18th), looked to be breaking into the middle of the hole, only to miss by millimetres on the low side.
Sluman looked in disbelief as he put his hands over his face, but he dug his own grave at the second extra hole (the 18th again) when he hit a poor wedge shot and two-putted for a tap-in par.
That opened the door for Langer, who hit a well judged wedge from the rough to set up his third victory of the year and collect $405,0000.
Sluman now has a combined 1-9 playoff record on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, Editing by Gene Cherry)