2013: Didn’t win for the first time as a member of the Champions Tour but was still among the top 10 in over half of his 17 appearances. Best effort of the season came in late-April when he closed with a bogey-free 67 that included birdies on three of his last four holes to finish T2 at the inaugural Greater Gwinnett Championship, three strokes back of Bernhard Langer.
Was on the leaderboard throughout the final round of the Encompass Championship before earning a T3 finish at North Shore CC. Was the 36-hole leader by two strokes at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach after consecutive rounds of 67. Closed with a 74 to eventually finish fourth. Was also in contention at the Boeing Classic through 36 holes, but a final-round 70 at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge dropped him into a T4. Sandwiched rounds of 68-66 around a second-round 73 to finish T6 at the Allianz Championship, an event he won in 2011. Made two appearances on the PGA TOUR. Missed the cut at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and then finished T58 at The Open Championship at Muirfield.
2012: Capped another highly successful campaign by winning the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in his hometown by six strokes over Jay Haas, adding a second consecutive Charles Schwab Cup title to his career resume in the process. Became the first player to win successive Charles Schwab Cup titles, as well as being the fifth to win that honor twice, joining Hale Irwin (2002 and 2004), Tom Watson (2003 and 2005), Jay Haas (2006 and 2008) and Loren Roberts (2007 and 2009). His winning 72-hole score of 22-under 258 was an all-time numerical record for a Champions Tour 72-hole event, and with the win he joined Watson (2005) as the first player to claim the Charles Schwab Cup by winning the Charles Schwab Cup Championship. With his win at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship he won his second TOUR event in the Phoenix area, 12 years after claiming the 2000 Phoenix Open.
Earlier in the year, he won his first tournament in just over a year when he repeated at the Regions Tradition by two shots over Bernhard Langer and Chien Soon Lu. Victory in Birmingham was his third major title since joining the Champions Tour and his sixth career win overall on the circuit. Became the first winner of the event to shoot four consecutive rounds in the 60s since Gil Morgan in 1997. Was also the first player since Allen Doyle at the 2005-06 U.S. Senior Open to successfully defend a major.
Fell short in his bid for consecutive major victories when he finished two strokes shy of Joe Daley at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship in July despite four consecutive rounds in the 60s, stretching his string of consecutive sub-70 rounds to 12 at that point in the season.
Was also a hard-luck runner-up at the Insperity Championship when Fred Funk birdied four of the last five holes to nip him by a stroke on the Tournament Course at The Woodlands CC. Was up by two strokes through 13 holes Sunday but played the final five in just 1-under par. Had a chance to send the event into a playoff at No. 18, but his 12-foot birdie putt just missed.
In contention throughout The ACE Group Classic but could only manage a 72 on Sunday that left him T3 in Naples, a distant six strokes back of Kenny Perry. Also was T3 at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, carding three consecutive rounds in the 60s at En-Joie GC. Was T2 after two rounds of The Senior Open Championship at Turnberry, but a 3-over-par 73 in the third round eventually led to a T10 finish. Finished T4 at the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship in September.
On the PGA TOUR, Carded a final-round 66 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic to finish T16 in Mexico. Received his 2011 Champions Tour Player of the Year Award at the Golf Writers Association of America annual dinner in April in Augusta. Selected as the Champions Tour Player of the Month for June and November. Led the Tour for the second consecutive year in Greens in Regulation as well as Total Driving. His Total Driving number (14) was the second best in Tour annals, surpassed only by Larry Gilbert (13) in 1993.
2011: Voted by his peers as the Player of the Year, making him the first to collect top honors on not only the Champions Tour, but also the Web.com Tour (1991) and PGA TOUR (1996). Earned his first Charles Schwab Cup, as well, holding off Mark Calcavecchia by just 74 points at the season’s final event. Took the Schwab Cup lead after the second event of the season (Allianz Championship) and never relinquished it. Was also the circuit’s only $2-million man, earning the Arnold Palmer Award with a personal-best $2,081,526. Along with John Cook, led the Champions Tour with three victories and claimed all three of his wins within the first seven of his 21 starts last year.
Highlight of his year was when he won his second career major championship on the Champions Tour, and third title of the season, at the Regions Tradition. Defeated Peter Senior in a two-hole playoff at Shoal Creek after starting the day two strokes behind 54-hole leader Mark Calcavecchia. Played his last 27 holes without a bogey and his final-round 69 got him into the playoff. After getting up and down on the first extra hole, he two-putted from 21 feet for the win when Senior missed a five-footer for par to extend the overtime session. Win in Birmingham put him over the $1-million mark in season earnings in just his seventh start. Did not have a three-putt at Shoal Creek during the week. A month earlier, recorded his second victory of the season at the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, a four-stroke triumph over Jeff Sluman, Nick Price and David Frost. Win near Biloxi came 20 years after he claimed a title on the Web.com Tour at nearby Windance CC in Gulfport, Miss. Shot a Fallen Oak course-record 64 in the second round to take the 36-hole lead and then used three birdies on the front nine on Sunday to pull away from the field. Final-round 69 at Fallen Oak was his 12th consecutive sub-70 score, tying him for second with Fred Couples for second on the all-time list of consecutive sub-70 rounds, one short of Hale Irwin’s record.
Captured first win in 2011 when he sank a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole to defeat Jeff Sluman and Rod Spittle at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton. Birdied two of the final three holes to get into the overtime session. Started season with a runner-up finish to John Cook at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai. Closed with a final-round 64 that included a 6-under-par 30 on the back nine but still finished two strokes back of Cook. In his first appearance in his native Minnesota as a Champions Tour member, was T2 at the 3M Championship, one stroke back of Jay Haas. Missed out on a playoff opportunity when Haas birdied the final hole to win.
Selected as the Champions Tour’s Player of the Month for January-February. Also teamed with Corey Pavin to finish T3 at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Had a nice showing at the AT&T Championship in San Antonio in October, posting three straight scores in the 60s to finish T3. Hit 77.68 percent of greens in regulation, the second-best percentage in Champions Tour history, just short of Tom Kite’s record of 78 percent in 2000. Played in five PGA TOUR events, making the cut in four appearances. Finished T22 at The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, his fifth consecutive made cut in that event. Shot rounds of 66-69 on the weekend to finish T13 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Also was T37 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T46 at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
Closed his season by winning the final event of the year on the European Senior Tour, the MCB Tour Championship on the island of Mauritius. Went wire to wire, battling David Frost down the stretch and eventually prevailing by one stroke.
Chosen as the Champions Tour Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. 2010: Highlight of his year came in May when he won his first individual Champions Tour title and first senior major in a one-hole playoff against David Frost and Fred Couples at the Senior PGA Championship at the Colorado GC. Posted an impressive, 4-under-par 68 in windy conditions to open the event and then followed with successive 71s in his next three rounds to secure a berth in the playoff. Ended the playoff on the first extra hole with a par after both Frost and Couples had made double bogeys. Was the only player in the field to post four consecutive sub-par rounds.
Made a hole in one at the 2010 PGA Championship, acing the 217-yard, 17th hole at Whistling Straits in Round 3. 2009: Had a successful debut on the Champions Tour in April. Teamed with Bernhard Langer to win the title at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in a two-hole playoff with Jeff Sluman and Craig Stadler. After Langer and Stadler traded 45-foot birdie putts on the first extra hole, Lehman made a par on the second hole to claim the title for his team. The victory made him the 13th player to win his Champions Tour debut and also made him the third of five players (Ron Streck, Keith Fergus, Gary Hallberg and Olin Browne the others) to have won on all three Tours. Best effort in a stroke-play event came in early September when he was T3 at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Second-round 65 at Del Monte GC moved him into contention but a final-round 73 ended his chances.