ORLANDO, Fla. – Lanny Wadkins no longer plays tournament golf and his son, Tucker, works as a full time investor relations professional, but the 66-year-old dad and 23-year-old son figured out how to channel some family magic in a playoff victory at the 2015 PNC Father/Son Challenge.
Tucker, who played collegiately at the University of Arizona, holed a 40-foot eagle putt to win a four-team playoff over Fred and Taylor Funk, Larry and Drew Nelson and Davis and Dru Love. Team Wadkins, who trailed Vijay and Qass Singh by two after a first-round 61, shot 63 in the final round to enter the playoff at 20-under-par.
“Tucker hit a spectacular tee shot, one of the best he’s hit all week,” said father, Lanny, who won the 1977 PGA Championship to qualify for the tournament. “He hit 4-iron, I hit 5-wood… I got it a little closer. He made a 40-footer. I’ll remember what he did in making that putt.”
Lanny previously rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation to join the playoff.
“He poured that putt in on 18,” said son, Tucker. “That was cool. Awesome to see. He was due for that putt today.”
“Dad’s still got a little bit left, so that’s kind of cool,” added Lanny, whose last PGA Tour win came at the 1992 Greater Hartford Open.
Team Wadkins started slow with pars at one and two and missed a 10-foot eagle opportunity at three. Lanny rolled in a 70-footer for birdie at four to spark a final-round 62. They take home the $200,000 first prize, while the Nelsons, Funks and Loves each bank $62,147 as a team.
2016 Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III and his son, Dru, who plays collegiately at the University of Alabama, were the only team to seriously challenge in the playoff, but both missed a long eagle try after Tucker Wadkins buried his.
“We never really made a lot of putts all week,” said father, Davis. “Tucker and Lanny made a lot of putts. We watched them all week. That’s what you have to do to win.”
Lanny and Tucker Wadkins previous best finish in four appearances at the PNC Father/Son Challenge was a tie for ninth in 2013. Lanny also played with his eldest son, Travis, five times between 2001 and 2004 with a tie for 11th as their best finish together.
First-round leaders Vijay and Qass Singh shot 66 in the final round to tie for fifth, while 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus and his son, Gary, ended the week in a tie for 14th.
The PNC Father/Son Challenge, held for 15 years from 1995-2008, made a return in 2012 with new title sponsor, The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Grande Lakes, Orlando, Fla.
Purse: $1,085,000 / Par: 36-36—72 / Yards: 7,023
FORMAT: 36-hole scramble; all 20 teams completed 36 holes.
WEATHER: Sunny on Saturday with highs in the lower 80s, winds from the E 10-20 mph. Partly cloudy Sunday, with highs again in the lower 80s and E winds 10-20 mph. Light rain fell during the single hole of sudden death.
WINNERS: Lanny/Tucker Wadkins 61-63—124 (-20) $200,000/team
(won with an eagle-three on the first playoff hole, No. 18)
T2. Larry/Drew Nelson 62-62—124 (-20) $62,147/team
T2. Fred/Taylor Funk 62-62—124 (-20) $62,147/team
T2. Davis III/Dru Love 61-63—124 (-20) $62,147/team
T5. Lee/Connor Janzen 62-63—125 (-19) $48,500/team
T5. Vijay/Qass Singh 59-66—125 (-19) $48,500/team
T7. Tom/Thomas Lehman 63-63—126 (-18) $46,500/team
T7. Bernhard/Jason Langer 63-63—126 (-18) $46,500/team
T9. Mark/Shaun O’Meara 63-64—127 (-17) $44,750/team
T9. Stewart/Reagan Cink 63-64—127 (-17) $44,750/team
T11. Steve/Sam Elkington 61-67—128 (-16) $43,500/team
T11. Nick/Matthew Faldo 62-66—128 (-16) $43,500/team
T11. Hale/Steve Irwin 64-64—128 (-16) $43,500/team
T14. Jack/Gary Nicklaus 64-65—129 (-15) $42,000/team
T14. Raymond/Ray, Jr. Floyd 63-66—129 (-15) $42,000/team
T14. Lee/Daniel Trevino 66-63—129 (-15) $42,000/team
T17. Dave/Dave, Jr. Stockton 64-66—130 (-14) $40,750/team
T17. Fuzzy/Gretchen Zoeller 66-64—130 (-14) $40,750/team
19. Curtis/Tom Strange 64-67—131 (-13) $40,250/team
20. Nick/Greg Price 69-64—133 (-11) $40,000/team
Tucker Wadkins sank a 40-putt for an eagle-three on the first hole of sudden death, No. 18, for Team Wadkins to capture the 2015 PNC Father/Son Challenge title over the Davis Love III/Dru Love, Fred/Taylor Funk and Larry/Drew Nelson.
The Wadkins’ win comes in their ninth start in the PNC Father/Son Challenge, dating to 2001. Their previous-best finish was a T9 in 2013.
This marks the fourth playoff in the event’s history and first since 2002, when Craig and Kevin Stadler won with a birdie on the first extra hole over Hale and Steve Irwin. This also marks the first playoff which featured more than two teams.
In their 10th consecutive start in the event, 18-hole leaders Vijay and Qass Singh followed a 12-under 59 up with a 6-under 66 to finish T5. The pair’s only finish outside the top 10 was in 2008, when they finished 11th. Since 2012, the Singh’s have now finished3rd, T2, T3 and T5, respectively.
Vijay and Qass Singh have never won the event but their T5 finish marked the seventh time they’ve been among the top five in the event. The only times they’ve been outside the top five were in 2004 (T9), 2007 (T6) and 2008 (11).
Defending champions Bernhard and Jason Langer finished T7 at 18-under 126. Langer won the PNC Father/Son Challenge in 2005 and 2006 with son Stefan.
Raymond Floyd, Larry Nelson, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino have now played in all 18 PNC Father/Son Challenges.