Calcavecchia can't hold on to lead

NEWPORT BEACH — Mark Calcavecchiasaid he could handle the cold pretty well on Saturday and he was all right with the wind.

Throw in rain and the combination was wicked to Calcavecchia, but he still went into the clubhouse on top after the second day at the Toshiba Classic.

On the third and final day, the conditions were still windy, just not as cold as the day before at Newport Beach Country Club.

The almost sunny skies on Sunday are what got to the former British Open champion. The heat got to Calcavecchia.

The 51-year-old shot his worst round, a two-over-par 73, finishing with a six-under-par total of 207, two shots behind the champion, Loren Roberts. When it was over, Calcavecchia didn’t want to talk about his third round.

Only one other time in the first 17 years of the Toshiba Classic has a golfer come from behind on the final day to win the event. Make that two now with Roberts, who went into the third round two shots back of Calcavecchia.

The clouds might have disappeared on the third day, but they returned late in the form of Calcavecchia’s game.

Calcavecchia bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, costing him two strokes. Those two mistakes left him tied with Tom Kite and Bernhard Langer for second place, behind Roberts.

Roberts survived a near collapse.

After bogeying three of the past four holes, he sank a birdie putt from five feet away on No. 18 to claim his 13th Champions Tour victory after going 33 tournaments without one.

Calcavecchia blew a chance to claim his second win on the Champions Tour.

A lot blew away throughout the day, a tent near the entrance to the tournament, and Langer said he saw a tree branch almost as thick as a thigh, which he believed would’ve knocked someone out on the course.

Calcavecchia knocked himself from the top of the leaderboard after his performance on three of the first five holes on the front nine. He bogeyed the second, then double bogeyed the fourth, and bogeyed the fifth.

In his previous two rounds, he bogeyed just three times, allowing him to record 67s each time.

Despite the rugged start, Calcavecchia managed to stay in contention. Helping his cause was collecting birdies on No. 7, 12 and 15, and avoiding bogeys.

The bogey bug hit the leader, Roberts, late. He bogeyed the 14, 16 and 17 holes, leaving it open for someone to sneak up from behind.

The problem was Calcavecchia and Kite bogeyed two of the same holes as Roberts. Langer avoided disaster on No. 16, not on the next hole, which he double bogeyed. 

The German picked a bad time for a putt to roll all the way into the bunker on No. 17, a par 3, 185-yard hole. He birdied the final hole, but it was all over by then. Roberts won the big check for $262,500.

Someone asked Langer if he was surprised it took Roberts, who has won 13 times on the Champions Tour, so long to win again, since his previous victory was on June 27, 2010.

“You can say yes I’m surprised,” Langer said. “On the other hand, there are a lot of other great players out here that can win, too. I was surprised Corey Pavin hadn’t won until he did. I was surprised Calcavecchia didn’t win until he did.”

Calcavecchia looked more upset than shocked that he didn’t win again.

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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