Barber takes title at South Georgia Classic
May 04, 2014
By Joe Chemycz, PGATOUR.COM
- Blayne Barber came from behind to win the South Georgia Classic. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
VALDOSTA, Ga. – Blayne Barber fired a 5-under 67 Sunday and came from behind to win the South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank & Trust Co., his first career win on the Web.com Tour.
Barber finished four trips around the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club at 15-under 273, two shots in front of Alex Prugh (67) and three in front of 54-hole leader Carlos Ortiz (72) who was in search of his third win of the season and a promotion to the PGA TOUR that goes with it.
Greg Owen (69), Ryan Armour (70) and Monday qualifier Rob Oppenheim (72) shared fourth place, four off the pace. Max Homa (73) finished solo seventh.
“It feels so great. I didn’t look at a scoreboard all day and I’m realizing now that it happened,” said Barber, who picked up a check for $117,000 and moved to No. 6 on the money list. “Today was just a blur. I played some good golf and the next thing I know I’m sitting here as a champion. I really didn’t see it coming this week. It really came from out of nowhere.”
Much of the focus for the first-three rain-soaked, tee-time delayed days was on Ortiz, a 23-year-old from Mexico who already has a pair of wins on his resume and was never out of the lead for 54 holes. But it was Barber, from nearby Lake City, Florida, that stormed to the lead with five birdies in his first 11 holes, recovered from a nearly disastrous double bogey and then rebounded with a pair of birdies to earn the win.
“I feel like I’m not very good at overcoming adversity,” he said. “I think the reason I came out on top today was that I just took my hands off the steering wheel a little bit and just played golf and didn’t look at any boards.”
Barber moved into contention Saturday with a 6-under 30 on the back nine that got him to within shouting distance of Ortiz and several others.
“My number today was 15,” said Barber. “I thought I might at least have a shot but you never really know, there are so many good players.”
Barber’s karma changed for the better when he rolled in a 60-foot birdie putt on the par-3, 6th hole.
“It broke about 10 feet and went right in the heart,” he said. “When that went in I was 3-under through six and I thought maybe there was something to today.”
Barber was in control most of the day but when his tee shot at No. 12 found a hazard and he made double, the field still had a chance, though none of the top contenders were making a run.
Prugh, who teed off before Barber, posted a nifty 5-under 67 that gave him the clubhouse lead at 13-under but Barber countered with birdies at Nos. 14 and 16 and then waited to see if any could match him.
Ortiz stumbled out of the gate with opening bogeys and then added a double at No. 6 and was forced to play catch-up all day.
Oppenheim also had a double on the front that dropped him out of contention and managed only two birdies on the day.
• Sunday weather: Mostly sunny. Wind N-NW 6-12 mph. High of 88.
• Lift, clean and place conditions were in effect for the fourth round, as they were for the first three rounds.
• This is the first tournament of the year to have all four rounds played under lift, clean and place conditions. The tournament that was played under similar conditions was the 2013 Web.com Tour Championship.
• Matt Bettencourt withdrew after four holes of the final round because of allergies.
• Earns his first Web.com Tour win in his 17th career start
• Picks up a check for $117,000 and increases his season total to $155,257
• Moves from No. 29 to No. 6 on the money list through eight events
• Wins at the age of 24 years, 4 months and 10 days
• Earns the sixth win in eight tournaments for players in their 20’s
• Becomes the sixth first-time winner on Tour this year
• Earns more this week ($117,000) than he had in his previous 16 starts on Tour ($107,844)
OTHER PLAYER NOTES
• Alex Prugh’s second-place finish vaulted him from No. 84 to No. 12 on the money list.
• Carlos Ortiz now has two wins and two solo third place finishes in eight starts this year. Ortiz strengthened his grip on the No. 1 spot on the money list. His season total of $363,058 tops No. 2 Andrew Putnam by $103,735.
• Ortiz continues his quest for a third win, which will give him a promotion to the PGA TOUR this year and full status on TOUR next year.
• Monday qualifier Rob Oppenheim, a conditional member this year, collected a much needed payday of $26,866 which will help him as he moves higher in the reshuffle, which comes on Monday. This was Oppenheim’s first start of the season.
• Newcomer Adam Webb of Virginia played in the final group with Ortiz and posted a 1-over 73 that dropped him into a tie for eighth place, good for a spot in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in two weeks.
• John Daly was the first player off the tee and played as a single. Daly finished his round in 2:21.
• Trevor Murphy posted a bogey-free 66 to move up in the standings and finish T8. Murphy has no status on Tour this year but his finish will put him into the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in two weeks. Murphy justified his sponsor exemption at last week’s WNB Golf Classic with a T9 effort in Midland, Texas, which earned him a start this week.
NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour will be idle next week and return May 12-18 for the BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greenville, S.C.