Lashley earns first Tour title at Corales Puntacana
May 07, 2017
By Royce Thompson, PGATOUR.COM
- Nate Lashley moves to second on the Web.com Tour money list with his victory at Corales GC. (Courtesy photo)
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – Nate Lashley started the final round of the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship two strokes back of Rafael Campos and K.H. Lee, and he carded a flawless 6-under-par 66 to win his first Web.com Tour title.
Lashley’s 20-under-par 268 total placed him one stroke in front of Argentina’s Augusto Nunez at the end of regulation.
Seth Reeves, Tyler Duncan and the crowd favorite Campos finished 18-under-par 270 for a share of third.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Lashley, who picked up his first victory on Tour in his 35th start. “Words can’t really express it. I’m extremely happy and I feel extremely fortunate to be able to be here and be playing well and get a win this week.”
In his first appearance in Punta Cana, the 34-year-old from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, played 66 consecutive holes at Corales Golf Club without a blemish on his card. He was 2-over after his first six holes of the tournament, only to fight his way into a tie for fifth at the end of the third round.
“I just didn’t score well,” said Lashley, who carded a first-round 70. “It could have been a 4- or 5-under round, but that’s just the way golf is sometimes. A couple putts didn’t go in. There were bogeys but they weren’t good bogeys. I just told myself to keep playing and see what happens and it turned out great.”
It sure did, as Lashley recorded 22 birdies after the 2-over stretch and earned $112,500 for his first-place effort. Lashley, who placed T79 at the PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament in 2005, is now one step closer to achieving his dream after a significant jump up the money list.
“We’ve still got a lot of events left,” said Lashley, who went from No. 24 to No. 2 in the standings. “I’m just going to take it a couple weeks at a time and yeah, a win gives you a big leg up on the PGA TOUR and hopefully I can just continue to play well the rest of the year and into next year on the PGA TOUR.”
Nate Lashley interview after winning Corales Puntacana
Lashley began the 2016 Web.com Tour season with conditional status, and he ended the year at No. 105 on the money list. He elected to compete on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, where he had finished eighth on the Order of Merit in 2015. The gamble to head south paid off for the former University of Arizona Wildcat, as he went on to capture three titles in the fall.
“I just wanted to keep playing,” said Lashley, who won the first two events he signed up for. “I felt like I was playing well. I didn’t quite have the finishes I needed to keep my card on the Web.com Tour. I figured if I got down there and played well, it might get me through First or Second Stage, and just see what happens.”
Lashley ended the season with a victory at the Shell Championship to win the Order of Merit title, earning him fully-exempt status on the Web.com Tour for 2017 in the process. The 2016 Roberto De Vicenzo Award recipient believes that his success at the end of 2016 paved the way for his win at Corales GC.
“It gave me a lot of confidence and the belief that I can win anywhere,” continued Lashley. “I felt like I played well enough in those events to win on any Tour. It was a great year and it led into this year.”
* Sunday weather: Mostly sunny, High: 82, Low: 78, Winds: E-SE 6-12 mph.
* This week’s purse is $625,000, with $112,500 going to winner Nate Lashley.
* Lashley is the fourth first-time winner through eight events on Tour this season.
* Lashley wins at age 34 years, 4 months, 25 days. Four players in their 30s have won on Tour this season.
* Lashley is the fourth first-time winner through eight events on the Web.com Tour this season.
* As the only multiple winner of the 2016 PGA TOUR Latinoamérica season, Lashley earned $140,897 in prize money to set a new single-season earnings record. He also had the lowest scoring average at 69.34 strokes per round and secured the Order of Merit title and the Roberto De Vicenzo Award with an impressive 10-shot win at the season-ending Shell Championship in Miami in December.
* Argentina’s Augusto Nunez’s runner-up showing in Punta Cana moved him to No. 16 on the Tour money list. This week marked Nunez’s second made cut of the season (T13 – The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay).
* Rafael Campos secured a spot in the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation with his tie for third. Campos, who was already qualified for the Web.com Tour Finals, earned $32,500 this week.
* Tyler Duncan carded a final-round, 4-under 68 and moved to No. 46 on the money list. Duncan began the year with conditional status, but is guaranteed more starts after the reshuffle on Monday.