Davis Love III hit a nice pitch shot on No. 18 and son Dru finished off the birdie to capture the Father-Son Challenge title Sunday in Orlando, Fla.
With Larry and Josh Nelson already in at 22-under par for the two-day scramble format, both Loves misfired in trying to reach the green in two at the par-5 finishing hole. Dru, an Alabama freshman who won five Georgia state titles in high school, went long and right near the grandstand at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes. Davis watched his ball roll onto the bank of a greenside pond.
But the elder Love found the right touch on his pitch from Dru’s position and his son made the winning putt.
“We made it a little tougher on ourselves than we wanted,” said Davis Love III, acknowledging he was more nervous standing over the pitch shot than watching his son putt. “But it was great to leave that putt for Dru so he could make it to win.”
The Loves teamed for an 11-under 61 in the final round. Davis collected the entire $200,000 first prize, since Dru is an amateur for the Crimson Tide’s No.1-ranked golf team.
“I definitely learned a lot this week,” Dru Love said. “I know this isn’t quite as big a tournament as the PGA, but you see the way that it’s supposed to be done.”
The Nelsons had seven consecutive birdies on the back nine, capped by Larry’s 30-footer at the par-3 17th. But the run ended strangely at No. 18, when Larry’s 10-foot attempt hit the back of the hole and somehow popped back onto the putting surface.
“I can’t wait to get home and see it on replay,” the elder Nelson said. “It went in the left-center of the hole; it wasn’t like it was just on the edge. I closed my eyes, then I looked up and the ball’s over there.”
Said Josh Nelson: “We thought an angel blew it in on 17; we think a little devil kept it out on 18.”
The Nelsons, who shot a 60 in the final round, were seeking to bring the family a third consecutive Father-Son title. Larry and Josh teamed for the 2007 title, with elder son Drew stepping in to win in 2008 before the event went on a three-year hiatus.
Vijay Singh and son Qass finished two shots back after a 61, followed by Mark and Shaun O’Meara (63) and David Duval with stepson Nick Karavites (61).
Jack Nicklaus and son Gary, two shots off the pace to start the day, finished four back after a 63.
SCHWARTZEL BY A DOZEN
Charl Schwartzel was a runaway winner for the second straight week, coasting to a 12-shot victory at the Alfred Dunhill Cham-pionship in Malelane, South Africa, an event sanctioned by the European Tour.
The 2011 Masters champion finished with a four-round total of 24-under 264 at Leopard Creek Country Club. He won by 11 strokes in Thailand last weekend.
Schwartzel won for the eighth time on the European Tour. The South African also captured this tournament in 2004, his first title on the tour.
He entered the final round with a 10-shot lead and closed with a 69.
The runner-up was Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg, who finished at 12 under after a 70.
Schwartzel was surprised that he won by such lopsided margins in consecutive weeks.
“That doesn’t happen often,” Schwartzel said.
Australasian Tour rookie Daniel Popovic completed an improbable wire-to-wire victory in the Australian PGA, shooting a 3-under 69 for a four-stroke victory over Australians Rod Pampling (69) and Anthony Brown (71) in Coolum, Australia. Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, failed to finish in the top three to ensure a top-50 finish in the year-end world ranking, which would have assured him a spot in the Masters. … Sergio Garcia won the rain-shortened Johor Open in Malaysia, closing with an 11-under 61 for a three-shot win in the Asian Tour’s season-ending event. The 32-year-old Spanish star finished at 18-under 198 at Horizon Hills for his second victory of the year and 24th international title.