KA’UPULEHU-KONA, Hawaii — Steve Stricker competed for the primary time in three months and nothing modified. He started the PGA Tour Champions 12 months by closing with a 7-under 65 for a six-shot victory Saturday within the Mitsubishi Electrical Championship at Hualalai.

Stricker seized management with a 60 within the second spherical for a two-shot lead, and with three birdies in 4 holes in the beginning, nobody acquired nearer the remainder of the best way.

“To win right here, I do not know what sort of recreation I had coming into this week,” Stricker mentioned, breaking right into a smile earlier than including, “nevertheless it was fairly good.”

He now has 4 PGA Tour Champions wins in his final 5 begins, ending final 12 months with consecutive victories earlier than taking off the postseason to benefit from the Wisconsin outdoor.

Stricker was challenged solely briefly on a beautiful day on the Huge Island. He nonetheless was two photographs forward of hard-charging Ken Tanigawa when Stricker made a breaking 10-foot birdie putt on the thirteenth, after which adopted that with a 45-foot eagle putt that dropped into the cup with good tempo.

From there, it was a battle for second place that nobody received.

Steve Alker, the Charles Schwab Cup champion final 12 months, closed with a 63 and earned a share of second place with Tanigawa (66), Mike Weir (66) and Darren Clarke (68), who missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the ultimate gap.

Stricker now has 12 profession wins on the PGA Tour Champions, the identical variety of titles he has on the common PGA Tour.

He completed at 23-under 193 and earned $340,000 for the lead within the Schwab Cup.

Stricker didn’t begin final season till Could as he recovered from a well being scare that included irritation round his heard and prompted him to drop 25 kilos as his white blood cell depend to spike and his liver depend to plunge.

He nonetheless received 4 occasions, closing out his season in October by successful three of his final 4, after which sitting out the Schwab Cup playoffs throughout searching season.

“I will play just a little extra,” Stricker mentioned. He turns 56 in February and nonetheless needs to play the occasional PGA Tour occasion to see how his recreation measures in opposition to the perfect.

“It is nonetheless enjoyable to compete with the perfect on the earth, however I will focus out right here, taking part in as a lot as I can,” he mentioned. “It is a good begin.”

Tanigawa and Weir each dropped photographs late within the pursuit of second place. Additionally costing himself cash was Alex Cejka, who was in second alone till attempting to play from the lava rocks left of the sixteenth inexperienced and making double bogey. He additionally bogeyed the seventeenth and completed with a 70 to tie for sixth.

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