Daily Wrap-up: Sunday, True South ClassicJuly 22, 2012
Staff and wire reports
MADISON, Miss. -- Scott Stallings strolled down the fairway on the 18th hole of the True South Classic, smiling and waving to a few fans like he didn't have a care in the world.
There would be no final-hole drama at Annandale Golf Club. He had this one all wrapped up.
Stallings shot a 4-under 68 in the final round on Sunday to beat Jason Bohn by two strokes. It was his first TOUR victory of the year and the second of his career. He finished with a 24-under 264, which is a tournament record at Annandale.
With a few holes remaining, it looked as if the True South Classic would host a tight finish. But Stallings made back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to suck all the suspense right out of the final hole.
"It made that tee shot on 18 a lot easier," Stallings said with a grin.
Bohn shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday. Billy Horschel was alone in third, four strokes back.
The 27-year-old Stallings raced up the leaderboard after shooting back-to-back 64s in the second and third rounds. That gave him a one-stroke lead over Horschel heading into the final day.
Stallings wasn't quite as spectacular on Sunday, but didn't need to be. Instead, he was steady, methodically working his way around the course, avoiding major trouble and picking up occasional birdies.
"He played really well, swung the club well, made the putts when he needed to make the putts, and that's the way you win," Horschel said.
Stallings had a two-shot lead by the turn, but made his only real mistake on No. 14, hitting his tee shot far to the right which caused his only bogey of the day. It was a surprising mistake simply because Stallings had been so good for so long -- he had gone 54 holes without a bogey.
But he recovered, responding with one of his best shots of the tournament two holes later on No. 16, sticking the approach within three feet for a short birdie putt.
Updated standings Scott Stallings moved up in the standings with his victory at the True South Classic. Standings
He birdied 17 after another pinpoint approach shot, making a 12-footer for a three-stroke lead.
Bohn made a birdie on 18, but it didn't matter. Stallings hit a short putt for par that won the tournament.
"Obviously, it's a special week," Stallings said. "Anytime you win on the PGA TOUR it's special. A lot of things and people went into winning this tournament and I'm very thankful."
The victory was another sign Stallings is moving closer to his 2011 form, when he won nearly $2 million and finished 31st in the final FedExCup standings in his rookie season.
But he's struggled through much of 2012 because of various injuries -- including torn cartilage in his ribs and two herniated disks in his back -- making the cut in just five of 18 events before blazing through Annandale. Stallings said the rib injury suffered in January was the most painful, and it took him about five months to fully recover.
He also worked some with a sports psychologist to get back his mental edge.
"I hurt my confidence and hurt everything that came along with it," Stallings said. "I learned a lot of lessons through that."
Now he feels fully healthy -- physically and mentally.
About the winner • Earns his second career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 27 years, 3 month and 25 days in his 47th career start on TOUR. • 2012 starts/made cuts/top-10s/wins: 19/6/1/1. • Stallings set the tournament scoring record at Annadale GC with a 264 (-24). The old tournament record, since the move to Annandale GC in 1994, was 266 held by Chris Kirk/2011, Fred Funk/2004, Steve Lowery/2000 and Skip Kendall/2000. • Stallings' 20-under 196 tied the best 54-hole score at Annandale GC, set by Steve Lowery in 2000. • Stallings is the first player from last year's rookie winners (Jhonattan Vegas, Charl Schwartzel, Brendan Steele, Keegan Bradley-2, Chris Kirk and Scott Stallings) to win in 2012. The six rookie winners in 2011 is a PGA TOUR record dating to 1970. The previous high for rookie winners was five in 2004 (Todd Hamilton (2), Zach Johnson, Vaughn Taylor, Andre Stolz and Ryan Palmer). • Stallings converts his first third-round lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. The 54-hole leader has now seen the victory through 10 times in 30 stroke-play events on TOUR this season. • Stallings records his first top 10 this season and his first since winning the 2011 Greenbrier Classic. He tore cartilage in five ribs in his third start of the season at the Humana Challenge. • In winning the 2011 Greenbrier Classic, Stallings defeated Bob Estes and 2010 True South Classic champion Bill Haas in a playoff. • Stallings wins in his first start in the True South Classic. • Stallings was -15 on the par-5s this week. • Stallings finished No. 41 in the FedExCup standings last year and made it to the third Playoff event at the BMW Championship. • The 54-hole leader has gone on to win the last three times at the True South Classic (Bill Haas/2010, Chris Kirk/2011, Scott Stallings/2012).
Annandale was drenched by heavy rain for much of the past week, and the soft, slow fairways and greens led to nearly ideal conditions for low scores.