Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) – It took more than five years, but David Toms finally notched his 13th PGA Tour win by shooting a three-under 67 on Sunday to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Toms, who squandered a seven-shot, 36-hole lead with a 74 on Saturday, finished at 15-under 265 to best third-round leader Charlie Wi by one stroke at Colonial Country Club.
His last win came all the way back at the 2006 Sony Open, and he had six runner-up finishes since then, including a loss in a playoff last week to K.J. Choi at The Players Championship.
“It just took a lot of guts,” Toms said in a televised interview. “That’s really all. That’s what I got by on today. Tough day on the golf course.”
Toms took the outright lead for good with a hole-out eagle from 83 yards away on the par-five 11th, although he certainly made it interesting down the stretch after a bogey at 17. He saved the tournament, though, with a final par at the 18th.
“It’s a crazy game, and I’m just glad to be part of it,” Toms said.
Wi was a bit off all afternoon and mixed in four bogeys with five birdies in a round of one-under 69. He made two clutch putts to get back to within a shot heading into the final hole, but came up just a bit short at 14-under 266.
“I kept it interesting until the last hole, so I’m very pleased with that,” Wi said. “You know, I back-doored into finishing second a couple of times, but this was the first time where I was going head to head. So this is going to be an experience that’s going to help me out in the future.”
Wi was seeking his first PGA Tour win in a long career that includes five international victories and one European Tour title. He hasn’t won since capturing the 2006 Malaysian Open.
Bo Van Pelt (65) finished third at minus-10, while last year’s champion, Zach Johnson (65), was fourth at nine-under 271.
Robert Karlsson (67) and Chez Reavie (68) shared fifth at minus-eight.
Wi missed the green with his approach at 10, which ended in a bogey after missing a 13-foot par putt.
The bogey dropped Wi to a share of the lead at 13-under, which was even with his playing partner, Toms.
Toms followed by shoving Wi into a tough shot with what was the shot of the tournament, a hole-out eagle at the par-five 11th. From 83 yards away, Toms lofted the ball a few feet past the hole with a bit of spin, which helped it roll back into the cup.
Wi managed to get up-and-down for birdie, but Toms still grabbed a one-shot lead at 15-under.
“When stuff like that happens, it’s like it was meant to be,” Toms said on television. “If it was meant to be, I just kept plodding along. I wanted this tournament for a long time, It’s a good course for me.”
On the 12th, Wi nearly ran into disaster. His tee shot fell into the fairway bunker, while Toms was safely on the fairway. After Toms put his approach onto the green, Wi’s wedge shot hit the lip of the bunker and bounced back into the sand.
Wi punched out into the fairway on his third, and his fourth shot landed seven feet from the pin. He managed to save bogey to stay two shots behind Toms, who two-putted for par.
After Toms got up-and-down for par following an errant tee shot on 13, he sank a 14-foot birdie putt at 14 to grab a three-stroke lead.
Wi kept his hopes alive with a critical eight-foot birdie putt at the 16th to get within two shots, but his approach at 17 landed in the greenside bunker.
Toms, though, also fell into a bunker on his approach, and he missed a 12-foot par putt; Wi had a chance to cut his deficit to one with an eight-foot par putt, and it was perfect to remain at 14-under.
Wi found the rough teeing off the 18th, while Toms stayed on the right fairway. Wi hit a poor approach shot that landed 44 feet from the cup, two- putted for par, and needed Toms to three-putt to force a playoff.
“I probably didn’t execute like I wanted to,” Wi said. “That’s probably more like it than playing conservatively. I was trying to stay aggressive today.”
Toms, though, whose approach landed 24 feet away, two-putted easily, tapping in from two feet to win the title.
Wi, who had a one-shot lead to begin the day, increased the margin to three with a pair of birdies to begin the round. A bogey at the sixth trimmed the gap between him and Toms to two, and Toms’ 10-foot birdie putt at No. 7 cut the deficit to one.
NOTES: This is the second time Toms has converted an 18-hole lead into a victory, with the other coming at the 2001 Michelob Championship. He has now converted four 36-hole leads out of 13 into victories…Toms is the first player to lose a playoff one week and win the next event since Phil Mickelson in 2000, who completed that feat by winning this tournament…The tour remains in the Lone Star State next week for the Byron Nelson Championship, where Jason Day is the defending champion.