By Joe Chemycz, Web.com Tour staff
BROUSSARD, La. – Lefty Edward Loar kept the field at arm’s length during Sunday’s wind-swept final round of the Chitiamacha Louisiana Open and earned his second career title on the Web.com Tour.
Loar held a one-stroke lead after 54 holes at the Le Triomphe Country Club and needed only a 2-under par 69 to finish at 17-under 267 to beat Morgan Hoffmann (69) by two strokes and two-time champion Brett Wetterich (65) by three.
“They’re all hard to win especially having to battle the elements today,” said Loar, who collected a check for $99,000 and moved to No. 1 on the money list after four stops on the 2013 schedule. “It’s a great start to the year. I think everyone’s goal is to be No. 1 out here.”
With the wind steady at 20 mph and gusting to 30 mph at times, Loar never let anyone get within arm’s length. Birdies at Nos. 5, 6 and 8 pushed him to 18-under par and four in front of his nearest challengers at the turn.
“I look at the leaderboards every now and then and I knew they were close,” said Loar, who hit 13 of 18 greens. “I just played great today. It was a great ball-striking round for me. I did have a couple of three-putts but putting is the hardest part in wind like this.”
Loar’s second three-putt came at No. 16 and cut his lead to two over fellow Oklahoma State alum Hoffmann, who was in search of his first career title. Loar, 35, bounced back on the par-3, 17th by knocking his 8-iron to 10 feet and canned the birdie putt to reestablish the lead at three.
“There were a few stressful holes out there,” admitted Loar, the father of triplets. “Most of it was as stress-free as it could be.”
A bogey at the closing hole reduced his winning margin but didn’t change the fact that Loar, runner-up at the Chile Classic two weeks, is playing some of the best golf of his life right now.
“I wish I could tell you what’s going on,” said Loar. “I’m just playing great right now. We all know it’s a crazy game. When I get out there now I feel like I know what I’m doing. You just have to ride it as long as you can.”
Hoffmann put the most pressure on Loar but knew he was going to need to make a final charge.
“I told my caddie on the back nine that I knew he wasn’t going to make a lot of mistakes coming in,” he said. “He knows his game right now. He’s a great player and a great guy. He knows how to handle it and I congratulate him.”
Fourth-Round Notes & Quotes:
-- Sunday weather: Morning clouds and afternoon. NW 10-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. High of 67.
-- Loar picks up a check for $99,000 and increases his season total to $164,684. He moves from No. 6 to No. 1 on the money list.
-- Loar becomes the first left-handed player in Web.com Tour history to assume the No. 1 spot on the money list at any point in any season. He was No. 2 on the money list when he won the second event on the 2013 schedule. Ted Potter Jr. was as high as No. 3 when he captured the 2011 Soboba Golf Classic title (his second win that year).
-- With his win today, Loar makes it nine total wins by left-handed players in Tour history. He also becomes the third lefty to win twice on Tour.
|Left-handed winners (6)/total wins (9):|
-- Loar becomes the first left-handed player in the tournament’s 22-history to win the event.
-- Loar also becomes the 11th third-round leader/co-leader in tournament history to go on to win. Third-round leaders/co-leaders have won the past three years and six of the past seven.
-- Loar has now finished T19, T2 and 1st in his last three starts. He has also posted sub-par scores in 11 of his last 12 rounds. Loar is a combined 37-under par in his last two starts. He was 20-under two weeks ago at the Chile Classic in Santiago, where he tied for second.
-- Loar is now 2-for-3 when leading/sharing the lead after 54 holes:
-- Hoffmann has now made the cut in 17 of his 19 career starts on the Web.com Tour. He has ten top-10 finishes.
-- In his previous two starts on the Web.com Tour this season, Hoffmann withdrew after three rounds of the Panama Claro Championship (stomach virus) and missed the cut at the Colombia Championship.
-- In five starts on the PGA TOUR this year, Hoffmann has made two cuts. He began his rookie season with a T67 at the Sony Open in Hawaii but then missed three straight cuts in California (Humana Challenge/Farmers Insurance Open/AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am). He posted scores of 67-68-68-71—274 (-14) was T14 at the Puerto Rico Open.
-- Hoffmann was a playoff runner-up to Russelly Henley at the 2012 Chiquita Classic and also finished T3 at the Web.com Tour Championship and earned his 2013 PGA TOUR card by finishing No. 19 on the final money list.
-- A Monday qualifier, Barber (T6) earns a start in the Tour’s next stop, the Brasil Classic presented by HSBC by virtue of his top-25 finish.
-- Barber, 23, is a former All-American at Auburn University and United States Walker Cup team member. Barber gained national attention late last fall when he disqualified himself from the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
Barber had penalized himself one stroke during play at the First Stage and advanced to Second Stage. Shortly after the tournament was over Barber notified officials of his penalty and it was determined the penalty should have been two strokes. Therefore, Barber was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
-- Barber has played in two PGA TOUR events this year – he finished T42 at the Northern Trust Open and T24 at the Puerto Rico Open.
-- This was Barber’s first Web.com Tour start in 2013 and his fourth career start:
-- Two-time champion Wetterich (2003, 2011) made a run up the leaderboard Sunday with a final round 65 that included birdies on three of his last four holes. His 6-under score moved him to 14-under for the week and helped him to a solo third place finish. This was Wetterich’s eighth start at Le Triomphe and his 65 was his best final-round score. He has now made the cut in six of his eight starts and has four top-10 finishes. His check for $37,400 also pushes his career earnings in Lafayette to $210,725.
-- Leading money winner Patrick Cantlay fired a 4-under 67 to win up at 7-under 277 and T32. His finish, coupled with Loar’s victory drops the former UCLA All-American No. 2 on the money list.
-- The first three tournament winners in 2013 competed this week:
Panama Claro Championship -- Kevin Foley -- 72-73-145 -- cut
Colombia Championship -- Patrick Cantlay -- 71-67-72-67—277 (-7) -- T32
Chile Classic -- Kevin Kisner -- 68-72-69-72—281 (-3) -- T55
-- Best rounds of the day:
65 – Brett Wetterich
66 – Nick Flanagan, Hunter Haas
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