Doug Barron Claims First PGA Tour Champions Major With Bogey-Free Finale At Regions Tradition

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Doug Barron outlasted the series points leader, Hall of Famers and the two-time defending champion.

Barron won the Regions Tradition on Sunday for his third PGA Tour Champions victory and first major title, shooting a 4-under 68 to hold off Steven Alker by two strokes.

Barron finished at 17-under 271 at Greystone in the first of the season’s five senior majors. He ended a victory drought dating to the 2021 Shaw Charity Classic. Wins eluded him throughout his PGA Tour career, where he didn’t finish higher than third in 238 events.

But there wasn’t a lot of drama in this one as he held off some of the tour’s biggest names with a bogey-free round and a casual tap-in finish. Hall of Famers Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington ended up being the ones offering congratulatory hugs at the end. Barron called it “a dream come true to beat all these great players.”

“They’re not only world-class golfers, they’re world-class people,” Barron said. “They’re true gentlemen to play golf with. They know if they’re playing their best, it’s going to be hard to beat them. Maybe they didn’t play their best and I got lucky and snuck in there. That’s all I would say, honestly.”

Barron took a two-stroke lead to 18 and was able to play it safe on a hole where he made birdies three straight days, with the other contenders already done for the day.

Alker had a 63 to match the tournament record for Greystone. The Schwab Cup points leader eagled the par-5 second hole and added eight birdies with only one bogey.

“I woke up at 7:03 this morning and I hopped out of bed and I said, ‘I’ve just got to shoot 10 under,'” Alker said. “And I came up one short.”

Els came into the day holding a share of the lead with Barron, who was playing with Els and Harrington. But they were nowhere near as steady. Els birdied the final hole for a 71 after making four bogeys. Harrington’s closing 74 put him seven shots behind.

Stricker, Els and Stewart Cink were all three shots behind Barron. Stricker finished with a 69 a day after failing to make a single birdie on his way to a 73. He had five birdies and a couple of birdies to fall short in his bid for his third straight win at Greystone. Stricker was trying to match Jack Nichlaus’ tournament record four titles.

“I really thought he would do what he does at this tournament every year,” Barron said.

Like Alker, Cink managed an eagle on No. 2 and was 5 under through eight holes. He managed just one birdie the rest of the way, though.

Barron, who played a few hours away at Mississippi State in college and lives in Tennessee, was coming off a tie for second at the Mitsubishi Electric Classic and one-upped that.

“I have a good life. I don’t judge myself on my golf,” he said. “If I did, I’d have a nervous breakdown, because my career’s been like a roller coaster. I judge myself on just trying to enjoy life, and this is just an honest-to-god bonus.”