Doug Barron wins first PGA Tour Champions major at 2024 Regions Tradition

Just before the start of the final round of the 2024 Regions Tradition, the first of five majors in 2024 on the PGA Tour Champions schedule, Steve Stricker withdrew from next week’s PGA Championship, the second major of the PGA Tour campaign. Stricker was in that field by virtue of his win in the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.

He’s also the two-time defending champion of the Regions Tradition at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama, but a final-round 69 left him short of an eighth Champions tour major.

Sunday started with Doug Barron and Ernie Els, both chasing their first PGA Tour Champins major title, tied for the lead.

While Els could only spin his wheels, shooting a 1-under 71 to finish 14-under, Barron, who said he woke up at four in the morning but sounded like he didn’t mean to, took control of the event. He followed his third-round 66 – the best round of the day by three shots – with a bogey-free, final-round 68 to finish 17 under and win his first senior major by two shots.

“Today was just a dream come true, beating all these great players,” Barron told Golf Channel on the 18th green minutes after his victory. He was in the final group alongside Els and Padraig Harrington.

Barron, 54, earned $390,000 for the win. The total purse for the tournament was $2.6 million. He now has three victories on the senior circuit.

He praised his putting coach for his success on the greens all week.

“I got one of the best putting lessons from my coach back home last week, and I really got my putter going. I felt like I could make an 8-footer again,” he said. “It was huge because I didn’t hit any fairways. I hardly missed a fairway coming into today.”

Steven Alker was solo second after firing a 9-under 63 on Sunday, the best score of the week by two shots.

Stewart Cink finished tied for third with Stricker and Els. Charlie Wi and K.J. Choi tied for sixth. Bernhard Langer, in his second event back after recovering from Achilles surgery, tied for eighth with Kenny Perry. Padraig Harrington, Brian Gay and Stuart Appleby tied for 10th at 9 under. Harrington was in the final group but posted a final-round 74.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek