BOISE, Idaho -- Call it an early birthday present. Two weeks shy of turning 36, Chris Tidland finally stepped into the winner's circle. Tidland fired a final-round 64 Sunday to win the $725,000 Albertsons Boise Open by four shots over hard-charging Scott Piercy, who tied the Hillcrest Country Club course record with a 10-under-par 61.
|Inside the Numbers|
|Tidland's Final Stats|
Tidland, making his 192 career start on the Nationwide Tour, finished at 20-under-par 264. More importantly, he collected a first-place check of $130,500, which vaulted him from No. 86 to No. 16 on the money list with $194,480. With five tournaments left on the schedule, the former Oklahoma State standout is back in position to finish among THE 25 leading money winners who will move onto the PGA TOUR in 2009.
"This is great. My major goal this year was to win out here," said Tidland, who becomes the Tour's 14th first-time winner in 2008. "To do it in the fashion I did, shooting a 64 in the final round on one of my favorite courses is really special."
Tidland, who began the final round at 13-under par and tied for the lead with Bill Lunde (72)), got out of the gate quickly with four birdies on his first six holes.
"I got off to a great start and just tried to keep the pedal down," said Tidland, who ranked in the top-10 this week in fairways hit, greens in regulation and putting. "There are a lot of great players out here and I knew there were going to be a lot of birdies. I just kept firing at the hole and making some putts."
Tidland held steady during the final round, canning a pair of 10-foot par-saving putts on the front nine and making just about everything else he looked at.
"It seems every time that momentum had a chance to shift, I made a key putt," he said.
Tidland was essentially chasing Piercy, a two-time winner on Tour who was blazing around the course with an eagle and eight birdies. The Las Vegas resident posted his 16-under par well in front of the final pairing of Tidland and Lunde.
"The back nine on Sunday is where the tournament starts. They've got three hours to look at my score, finished at 16 under," said Piercy, who collected a runner-up check for $78,300 and jumped from No. 12 to No. 3 on the money list. "If you've got to shoot 4 under on Sunday to win, that's not always easy."
Tidland never knew what Piercy shot, or what his score was.
"I never looked at a leaderboard all day," he said. "My coach in college taught us never to look but to just go out and play the best you can."
Tidland's torrid pace continued through 11 holes, when he got to 19 under and three in front of Piercy, who was in the clubhouse watching the telecast. A par save at No. 12 was followed by a bogey at No. 13, trimming the lead to two, but Tidland rallied with a short birdie putt at No. 15 to regain his margin.
"I didn't know how I stood until I hit my second shot at 18. I didn't want to know," said the winner. "I asked my caddie how we were doing and he said, 'we're good.'"
They were better than good. Tidland's approach from 127 yards at the uphill, 399-yard hole didn't go at the middle of the green where he was aiming.
"I pulled it about 25 feet left of the target," he said. "But I don't want it back."
His shot sailed at the pin, barely missing the cup and stopping less than three feet away for a closing birdie and a final margin of four.
"I played lousy last week and missed the cut in Salt Lake City," said Tidland. "My wife was out with me and I had a great weekend of practice. I'm usually pretty grumpy when I don't play well, but she wouldn't let me get in a bad mood. She kept me going and so I came into this week with a nice frame of mind. If you had told me last week that I was going to win this week, I would have thought you were crazy."
Fourth-Round News & Notes: Sunday's scoring average was 70.308. The scoring average for the week was 70.436. ... Clay Ogden, a 2007 graduate of Brigham Young University, posted an 8-under 63 and moved up to a tie for sixth place. Odgen is not a member of the Tour and by virtue of his finish will gain entry into next week's Oregon Classic. ... Scott Piercy's 10-under-par 61 tied the course record, which was set by J.P. Hayes in the second in 1994 and matched by Woody Austin the following day. ... Peter Tomasulo had nines of 37-29 to finish with a 5-under 66. Tomasulo vaulted to fourth. His finish was worth $34,800 and moved him from No. 14 to No. 13, but more importantly, gave him enough money to guarantee a spot among THE 25 top money winners at the end of the year.