Des Moines, IA – Russ Cochran shot 5-under 67 on Sunday and secured a 1-stroke win over Jay Don Blake at the Principal Charity Classic.
Cochran, who fought through wrist and rib injuries in 2012, finished 54 holes at 11-under-par 205 for his fourth Champions Tour victory and first since the 2011 Senior Open.
Blake, playing in the final group, was tied for the lead with Cochran before 3-putting for bogey at Wakonda Club's par-3 17th. He had a chance to force a playoff at the last but settled for a solo second finish and a final-round 69 when his birdie attempt missed wide right.
"I feel for Jay Don," Cochran said in a televised interview. "He's a great player and I feel like I dodged a bullet."
Duffy Waldorf was seeking his first Champions Tour victory in just his 13th start, but he couldn't maintain his 1-stroke overnight advantage and ended in a tie for third place at 9-under after a final-round 71. Mark Calcavecchia (67) and Kirk Triplett (67) also finished at minus-9.
Cochran began the final round two shots off Waldorf's pace but the lefty quickly jumped ahead with three birdies in his first five holes,
Waldorf, meanwhile, was even with a birdie and a bogey through his first six before reclaiming a share of the top spot courtesy of a gain at the par-4 seventh. But the overnight leader couldn't maintain the pace, ending the tournament with 11 straight pars as Blake rose to contention.
Recovering from bogeys on Nos. 1 and 3, Blake unfurled a blistering run from the fourth, notching six birdies over his next nine holes. When the dust settled, Blake shared the lead with Cochran, who was wrapping up a birdie at the par-5 13th.
Blake missed a 2-footer for a birdie and the lead at No. 13, and Cochran, playing a group ahead, capitalized with a birdie at the 15th for a 1-stroke advantage.
Cochran promptly gave the lead away when he missed a 4-foot par putt at the 16th, but Blake bailed him out at the 174-yard 17th when he left his tee shot 50 feet short of the cup and 3-putted for bogey.
"(After No. 13) I seemed like I was a little cautious with the putts," admitted Blake. "I wasn't really stroking it as aggressive as I was before. And I had been putting well so I got caught a little off guard there."
The late misstep gave Cochran the outright lead, and he parred out for the victory.
NOTES: Cochran's best finish on the Champions Tour in 2013 prior to this tournament was a tie for third at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic ... Waldorf was attempting to become the third straight rookie to win this season ... Fred Funk withdrew prior to the second round because of vertigo.