The victory pushed Couples to third in the season’s final standings, while Perry’s finish in a four-way tie for fifth at 3-under was good enough to earn him the top spot for the year.
Bernhard Langer — who needed a victory this weekend and for Perry to finish out of the top five to pass Perry in the standings — finished in a three-way tie for second with Peter Senior and Mark O’Meara at 11-under.
Perry said he approached this week knowing that a top-five finish would have been good enough to guarantee him the season title, but made sure to enlist the help of his competition in case he couldn’t do his part.
“A big thank you to Fred Couples,” he said. “Starting the week I said it’s 29 against one. I was trying to be the mayor of San Francisco and go around and shake all the players hands, and I just said, ‘I need one of you to get hot this week and keep him off of me.’”
Perry was the only player on the Champions Tour to win three tournaments in 2013. He finished the season 411 points ahead of Langer in the season standings, though Langer hung on to the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list for the year.
He said he remained nervous until he saw Couples lay a shot up on the 16th hole, where Couples eventually made par to maintain a commanding lead.
Couples said getting his first win of the year in the final event was somewhat bittersweet for him.
“I feel like this year, certainly not a waste, but it was a waste in not winning any events until this,” he said. “I felt like possibly with some better practice I could have won three times easily. In those tournaments that I played well in, I hit the ball pretty well and I putted well, but this week was totally different. I didn’t miss many shots and I got a big lead and kept it.”
Couples had gone 29 straight holes without a bogey before bogeying the 13th hole Sunday. He had only three bogeys and one double bogey all weekend. He claimed his ninth title on the Champions Tour in his 52nd start. It was his first win since last year’s Senior British Open.
This is the eighth straight year the Charles Schwab Cup Championship has been won by multiple strokes.