Alex Cejka ends six-year winless drought with major at PGA Tour Champions Regions Tradition
Alex Cejka has joined Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Lydia Ko and Mike Weir in ending prolonged victory droughts.
Alex Cejka has joined Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Lydia Ko, Mike Weir and Rory McIlroy in ending prolonged victory droughts.
Cejka, making his third PGA Tour Champions start, outlasted third-round leader and defending champion Steve Stricker in a playoff at the Regions Tradition at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama.
It’s Cejka’s first win in 2,254 days.
He got in the field for the Champions tour major as the first alternate after Jay Haas withdrew. Cejka’s last win—and lone PGA Tour win—was in the 2015 Puerto Rico Open when he outlasted four others in a playoff. He now has a Champions major in just his third start on the circuit.
Cejka did collect a couple victories 13 months ago on the Outlaw Tour in Arizona, including one in which he rallied to win from six strokes back with six holes to go, when the major golf tours paused during the pandemic.
On Sunday, he had three straight birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 14 to take a two-shot lead.
Stricker, the 2021 Ryder Cup captain for the Americans, had four birdies on the front nine then stalled with a pair of bogeys on the back. But he got clutch when he needed to, making birdie on 16 to cut the lead to one and draining a 15-footer for another birdie on 18 to tie for the lead at 18 under. Cejka then made his par putt from two feet to force a playoff.
Leaderboard: Regions Tradition
On the first playoff hole, despite a wayward second shot, Cejka drained a 15-footer for birdie, his first birdie on the 18th hole all week. Stricker then faced a birdie putt of his own to extend the playoff but he pushed it right of the hole.
Robert Karlsson finished solo third at 14 under. Ernie Els and Jerry Kelly tied for fourth at 11 under. Bernhard Langer and David Mackenzie tied for sixth at 9 under.
Two weeks ago on the PGA Tour Champions, Cejka finished tied for second at the Chubb Classic. His senior circuit debut came in Tucson, Arizona, at the Cologuard Classic in February, where he tied for 38th.
The tour next heads to the Mitsubishi Electric Classic at TPC Sugarloaf in Duluth, Georgia, May 14-16.