It was a run that John Cook had never experienced in his long, successful career.
Cook birdied five straight holes after the turn to win the Champions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship on Sunday, shooting a second straight 8-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over Tom Lehman.
“I’ve hit some runs of birdies but never on Sunday on the back side to win a championship,” Cook said.
The 53-year-old Cook had eight birdies in his bogey-free round for a 22-under 194 total and his second straight victory. He finished last season with a successful title defense in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
The last player to win the last event of a season and the first of the next on the Champions Tour was Gil Morgan in 1997-98.
After two birdies on the front side, Cook scorched the back nine, dropping putt after putt. He birdied six holes during a seven-hole stretch to take home $305,000 and the hook-shaped trophy.
The win was Cook’s sixth on the 50-and-over circuit and his first in the islands since the 1992 Hawaiian Open at Waialae, which he considers one of his favorite wins.
Cook was relaxed and focused on Sunday, only distracted by the Pacific behind him.
Way to go Cookie.