ENDICOTT, NY – For the 13th-straight year, we have a new champion of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Through Saturday, it looked like this tournament was Ernie Els’ win for the taking.
However, that’s why they play a 3rd round.
Els, competing in the Dick’s Open for the first time, came into the final round Sunday sitting alone at the top of the leaderboard at 11-under, 3 strokes ahead of Cameron Beckman.
On 1, Els looking to get the round rolling with a birdie, but not to be. Settles for par.
However, Beckman also looking at a birdie putt on 1.
And he’s able to knock it home.
That would become a theme of the day for both those men.
On to 3. Els again for birdie. This time, he’s able to convert.
That moved him to 12-under and it felt like he might be able to build momentum from that.
But, Beckman not letting him off the hook that easy as he too birdies 3, and he’s at 10-under.
Jumping to the back 9 now.
Beckman on 10.
Sitting at 9-under and this was the start of something special for him.
Beautiful birdie putt and he’s back to 10-under.
After birding 11, Beckman looking at another opportunity here on 12, and that one just barely creeps into the hole.
Beckman would birdie the first 5 holes of the back 9 and take the lead at 14-under.
But, he bogeyed 15, and Els is looking at an eagle putt here that could vault him to 12-under.
Solid strike, but the ball just never breaks to the left and the Big Easy is left to settle for par, and remains 2 shots back.
Heading to 18, Beckman used a drop so Els with a long birdie opportunity to gain a stroke back and put the pressure on Beckman to drill his par putt.
But, never gives it a real shot as he leaves it short.
Meanwhile, Beckman gets his par attempt within inches on a great stroke, and just taps it in to seal the deal.
By a single stroke, Cameron Beckman is your 2021 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open champion, his first win on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.
Afterwards, Beckman explained what it was like going toe-to-toe with a World Golf Hall of Famer, and being able to come out on top.
“You know, it’s a little more satisfactory. For me to birdie 5 holes on the back 9 in a row to put some pressure on him. I thought of it as a fun thing. It really wasn’t who he was. I know Ernie, and I know Darren. They’re friends of mine. But, I just had this little thing going where I was just going to play aggressive and see if I can beat him. That’s kind of what we all want to do out here, and it’s fun. I just had so much fun,” he says.
Despite this year’s event being the first time he’s played at En-Joie, Beckman already confirmed that he’ll be back to defend his title in August of 2022.