The Live Report: Puerto Rico Open, Final Round

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Derek Lamely is trying to become the first rookie to win on TOUR since 2008.
March 15, 2010
PGA TOUR staff
Live Report essentials
PGATOUR.COM's The Live Report has all the news and notes from Monday's finish of the Puerto Rico Open presented by Banco Popular, and we'll be providing updates all day long. (All timestamps are Eastern Time.)
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WATCH NOW: GOLF Channel, 3-6 p.m. Eastern Time.

FIRST-TIME WINNERS (4:00 p.m.): 2010 Puerto Rico Open champion Derek Lamely became the third first-time winner on the PGA TOUR in the young season.

The others were Bill Haas at the Bob Hope Classic and Ian Poulter at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship. Haas and Poulter are bigger names than McNeese State's Lamely, but you can't argue Lamely's learning curve.

It took him just 12 PGA TOUR starts to capture his first win. In 2009, he won his first Nationwide Tour title -- the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational -- in his 10th start on that Tour. -- Nick Zaccardi

LAMELY WINS (3:50 p.m.): The waiting may have been the hardest part for Derek Lamely, but two hours after posting 19 under, he can finally breathe easy as the 2010 Puerto Rico Open champion.

Kris Blanks parred the final hole, while Steve Wheatcroft bogeyed to fall out of second place. As a result, Lamely gets a two-shot victory, becoming the first rookie to win on TOUR since Marc Turnesa at the 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

He's also the first Nationwide Tour grad from the previous year to win on TOUR since Chez Reavie at the 2008 RBC Canadian Open.

An interesting note, Lamely came into Monday as the seventh alternate for this week's Transitions Championship. Now he automatically gets into the field at Innisbrook for finishing in the top-10.

It's the first of many spoils for the 29-year-old from Belleville, Ill. -- Nick Zaccardi

BLANKS, WHEATCROFT NEED EAGLE (3:30 p.m.): Kris Blanks and Steve Wheatcroft made matching pars at the 17th and are on the par-5 18th two shots behind Derek Lamely.

Nobody in the top 25 has eagled the 18th today, so it's a daunting task. -- Nick Zaccardi

LAMELY'S LEAD BACK TO TWO (3:20 p.m.): Steve Wheatcroft just bogeyed the par-4 16th, falling back to 17 under with Kris Blanks, who parred the hole.

That puts Derek Lamely in great position for his first PGA TOUR win. Blanks or Wheatcroft need back-to-back birdies or an eagle at the par-5 18th to force a playoff. -- Nick Zaccardi

ONE PAR-5 DOWN, ONE TO GO (3:05 p.m.): There's no better way to say it in March; Derek Lamely is on the bubble.

The clubhouse leader, Lamely posted 19 under more than an hour ago. At the time, Kris Blanks and Steve Wheatcroft faced decent chances of knocking Lamely out of the lead, but Lamely's still on his perch as the holes dwindle.

Wheatcroft (18 under) and Blanks (17 under) are playing together on the back nine. They both parred the par-5 15th, missing a big opportunity to catch Lamely. Wheatcroft and Blanks still have the par-5 18th left, which both have birdied twice so far this week. -- Nick Zaccardi

ELKINGTON CONTINUES STRONG YEAR (2:55 p.m.): Like Vijay Singh, Steve Elkington seems to be putting a rough 2009 behind him. The 47-year-old Aussie signed for a final-round 69 at Trump International, securing a top-10 and possibly his first top-five since the 2008 FBR Open.

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What's more, Elkington is on the verge of surpassing his 2009 PGA TOUR earnings ($243,404). With top-20s at the Bob Hope Classic and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, he's already made $178,000 in just three starts in 2010.

Elkington didn't finish better than 22nd in 23 starts in 2009, making less than half of his cuts. -- Nick Zaccardi

BLANKS, WHEATCROFT CLOSE IN (2:25 p.m.): Kris Blanks and Steve Wheatcroft are now one shot back of Derek Lamely through 13 holes with two par-5s left. It doesn't look like Lamely's clubhouse 19 under is going to be good enough to win the Puerto Rico Open outright.

As for Blanks and Wheatcroft, who are grouped with Kevin Streelman, below is how they've fared on the closing holes in the first three rounds. -- Nick Zaccardi

Hole Par Blanks Wheatcroft
15 5 -1 -2
16 3 E -1
17 4 -1 E
18 5 -2 -2
Total -- -4 -5

POSSIBLE VICTORY FOR 'THE 25' (2:05 p.m.): Clubhouse leader Derek Lamely and Steve Wheatcroft are trying to end a victory drought for Nationwide Tour grads on the PGA TOUR.

Lamely (No. 4) and Wheatcroft (No. 20) are on TOUR this year via finishing in the top-25 on the final 2009 Nationwide Tour money list. The last time a Nationwide Tour grad from the previous season won on the PGA TOUR was Chez Reavie at the 2008 RBC Canadian Open.

The 2009 members of "THE 25" have already shown success early in the season. Michael Sim (No. 1), Chad Collins (No. 2), Chris Tidland (No. 6), Matt Every (No. 10) and Alex Prugh (No. 16) have been high on weekend leaderboards so far. Lamely or Wheatcroft could top them all.

Meanwhile, the Nationwide Tour makes its 2010 U.S. debut next week at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. For updated "THE 25" standings, click here. -- Nick Zaccardi

LAMELY IN AT 19 UNDER (1:45 p.m.): Derek Lamely parred his final four holes to finish at 19 under (scorecard below). Now the wait begins.

cardlamely1.jpg

Kris Blanks, Kevin Streelman and Steve Wheatcroft all birdied one of their last three holes to move to 17 under, two shots back, through 11 holes. Each also has two par-5s remaining, so Lamely can't feel too safe right now.

What a finish for Lamely, though. He wrapped up a tournament-low 63 in the third round this morning and notched a bogey-free 66 in his final round. -- Nick Zaccardi

PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE (1:30 p.m.): Those looking to watch final-round action this afternoon can tune in to GOLF Channel at 3 p.m. Eastern Time for tape-delayed coverage running until 6.

Before the coverage starts, check PGATOUR.COM for live audio of Commissioner Tim Finchem's teleconference at 2:30. -- Nick Zaccardi

LEADERBOARD CHECK (1:10 p.m.): It's looking like it'll be a back-nine chase at Trump International.

Derek Lamely is 19 under through 16 holes, while his closest pursuers -- two and three shots back -- just made the turn. Kris Blanks trails by two, while Kevin Streelman and Steve Wheatcroft are three behind.

All are going for a first PGA TOUR victory, so Lamely may have the longest wait of his life after signing his scorecard. On the flip side, Blanks, Streelman and Wheatcroft will be playing under pressure for the final half of their final rounds. -- Nick Zaccardi

GET TO KNOW LAMELY (12:52 p.m.): Recognize Derek Lamely? If you subscribe to Men's Journal -- or viewed our photo gallery -- then the rookie should look familiar. He was one of seven PGA TOUR newcomers chosen for the magazine's "Links Crashers" photo shoot. Take a look:

lamely2.jpg

The baby-faced 29-year-old also shared two of his more memorable TOUR moments in the Men's Journal spread. In discussing his first TOUR event, the 2004 Western Open, Lamely said, "[Tiger Woods] shot the breeze with a couple of guys next to me but I was too awestruck to speak." The tournament's omelet station also made an indelible impression.

"It's not every day that someone custom makes your eggs," Lamely said. -- Lauren Deason LAMELY LIKES THE GREENS (12:15 p.m.): One reason why current leader Derek Lamely is playing so well at Trump International? His putter has been solid.

"For whatever reason, when I get on the greens, I can really see the lines," Lamely said earlier in the tournament. "You know, I feel really comfortable on the greens in that respect, speed, speed of the greens. I've got greens like this at home.

"So for whatever reason, I feel like my lines are good. My speed is pretty good here. Just kind of a good fit."

LUNDE ON FIRE (12:05 p.m.): Bill Lunde has reeled off four consecutive birdies to move to 13 under with eight holes remaining. He may be too far back to catch the leaders, but he could be headed for his best finish on TOUR.

Lunde had two top-10 finishes on his first full year on TOUR in 2009, including a tie for fourth at the Frys.com Open.

Click here to follow the remainder of Lunde's round.

FAST MOVING (11:55 a.m.): Rookie Derek Lamely is making just his 12th career TOUR start. Should he win on Monday in Puerto Rico -- he currently leads by a stroke -- it would obviously be a rapid trip to the winner's circle.

First wins
Tiger Woods Won the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational in his fifth career start on TOUR as a pro
Phil Mickelson Won the 1991 Northern Telecom Open as a amateur. After turning pro in 1992, it took him another 15 starts before he won again, the 1993 Buick Invitational of California
Steve Stricker Won the 1996 Kemper Open in his 73rd career start on TOUR
Sergio Garcia Won the 2001 MasterCard Colonial in his 33rd career start on TOUR
Ernie Els Sunday's winner in Doral, Els won the 1994 U.S. Open in his 18th career start on TOUR

We thought it would be interesting to take a look at how quickly some of the TOUR's notable players won their first TOUR event.

NOTABLE VETERANS MAKE MOVES (11:30 a.m.): A few notes on some veterans who are making noise in Puerto Rico:

Steve Elkington -- Currently in the top five on the leaderboard, Elkington is seeking his first top-10 finish since a tie for 10th at the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Elkington hasn't won on TOUR since the 1999 Doral-Ryder Open.

Woody Austin -- Currently in the top five on the leaderboard, Austin is seeking his first TOUR win since the 2007 St. Jude Championship.

John Daly -- Daly's 6-under 66 in the third round is his best round since a first-round 66 at the 2009 Wyndham Championship. Still, Daly is well off the lead, currently tied for 44th.

QUICK CHANGES (11:15 a.m.): Kevin Streelman finished his third round an hour ago with a three-shot lead. And now? He's one shot behind.

After barely catching his breath between rounds, Streelman opened his final round with a double bogey on the par-4 first that dropped him to 15 under for the tournament. That's one shot behind rookie Derek Lamely, who is 3 under for his final round and 16 under for the tournament.

To follow Streelman's round, click here. To follow Lamely's round, click here.

Round Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative Totals
1 35.500 35.864 71.364 --
2 35.056 35.794 70.849 71.112
3 34.771 34.400 69.171 70.698

SCORING AVERAGES (11:10 a.m.): Scoring averages through the first three rounds at the par-72 Trump International Golf Club.

THE 10TH HOLE JINX? (10:57 a.m.): To start his final round, rookie Derek Lamely teed off on the 10th hole Monday morning. The last person to tee off on No. 10 and win was Keith Clearwater at the 1987 Colonial Invitational.

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But if there's a jinx, it hasn't kicked in yet. Lamely is a bogey-free 3 under through his first eight holes in the final round and has reduced Kevin Streelman's lead to one shot.

Since he teed off in the first group off No. 10 in the final round, Lamely may have a long wait after he completes his round before learning of his fate.

DON'T OVERLOOK THAT 64 (10:27 a.m.): Of course, the key score posted in the third round was Kevin Streelman's bogey-free 8-under 64 that vaulted him into the lead and has him positioned for his first TOUR win.

Kevin Streelman's lowest rounds on the PGA TOUR
Score Relation to par Year Tournament Round
62 8 under 2008 Travelers Championship 3
63 9 under 2010 Bob Hope Classic 3
63 7 under 2008 Travelers Championship 2
63 7 under 2008 Valero Texas Open 2
64 8 under 2010 Puerto Rico Open 3
64 8 under 2010 Bob Hope Classic 4
64 8 under 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic 1
64 7 under 2009 John Deere Classic 3
64 6 under 2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship 3
64 6 under 2009 Mayakoba Golf Classic 4
64 6 under 2008 Wyndham Championship 2

In his first 54 holes this week at Trump International, Streelman has just two bogeys. He's played the front nine in a collective 7 under with no bogeys, and he's birdied the par-3 16th all three rounds. In fact, he's a collective 6 under with no bogeys on the par 3s this week.

LAMELY'S 63 (10:25 a.m.): In looking back at the third round, you might want to check out rookie Derek Lamely's course-record 9-under 63. He posted 10 birdies during the round, which is the lowest posted this week. It's also his best round in his brief TOUR career by three strokes -- Lamely shot a 66 in the first round this week, and also carded a 66 at the Bob Hope Classic.

Click here for Lamely's scorecards from Puerto Rico.

THIRD ROUND COMPLETE (10:15 a.m.): The third round of the Puerto Rico Open is officially in the books, and several players have already started their final rounds.

Third-round leader Kevin Streelman has a three-shot lead over Steve Wheatcroft, Kris Blanks and Chad Collins and will tee off at 10:35 a.m. Streelman has never won a PGA TOUR event; he his best career finish is a tie for third last year at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun.

Streelman, who won the inaugural $1 million Kodak Challenge in 2009, cruised to the 54-hole tournament scoring record with a 199. The previous best 54 hole score was 203 set by Bo Van Pelt in 2008 (T2).

MONDAY FINISH (10 a.m.): The Puerto Rico Open will be the second TOUR event this season with a Monday finish. The Bob Hope Classic also finished on Monday, with Bill Haas winning his first TOUR event.

Timeline: Suspension of play
• On Thursday, the first-round was suspended at 7:19 a.m. ET due to heavy rains which led to unplayable course conditions. It was decided at 1:30 p.m. that play would be suspended for the day. A total of 18 players teed off prior to the suspension of play on Thursday.

The first round resumed at 7:15 a.m. on Friday and was suspended at 7:36 a.m. due to rain and unplayable course conditions. The first round resumed at 4:35 p.m. on Friday. Play was suspended at 6:36 p.m. due to darkness with 22 of the 44 groups on the course.

On Saturday, the first round resumed at 7:10 a.m. with 22 of the 44 groups on the course. The second wave began teeing off at 8:35 a.m.

The second round was suspended due to darkness at 6:40 p.m. with 57 players on the course on Saturday. They resumed play at 7:10 a.m. Sunday, while the second wave teed off the second round at 7:30 a.m. Only six players completed the second round before the suspension.

On Sunday, the third round was suspended due to darkness at 6:36 p.m. with all 70 players on the course. Play resumed at 7 a.m. Monday. Players will not be repaired after the third round.

A total of 6.6 inches of rain fell on Trump International Golf Club on Thursday. Six-tenths of an inch of rain fell on the course on Friday. Between March 5-10, a total of 5.4 inches of rain fell on the course.

Prior to Monday, the last time the full final round was played on Monday (unscheduled) was the 2009 RBC Canadian Open.

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