Brian Gay romped home with a closing round of 64 to win the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links by an incredible 10 shots from Briny Baird and Luke Donald.
The 37-year-old finished the week on a record total of -20 to claim his second PGA Tour victory. He earned a cheque for $1,026,000 plus 500 valuable FedEx Cup points. He also gained an automatic invitation to next year’s Masters.
"I've had a lot of heartache not getting in that tournament, winning and not getting in, and missing by one spot on the money list two times," he said.
Gay began the final round three shots clear of New Zealand’s Tim Wilkinson. But, after just two holes, the American’s lead was virtually unassailable. He opened with a birdie then holed a monster putt for eagle on the second to increase his advantage to six.
"I told myself to keep my head down and keep plugging along," Gay said. "I didn't watch any leaderboards. I didn't watch anything."
He didn’t need to worry, his lead kept extending. The only threat to Gay was that he wouldn’t break Loren Robert’s tournament scoring record. When he made bogey at the 12th, it looked as though he might fall short of Robert’s record mark of -19. But birdies at the 13th, 15th and 16th meant Gay finished on -20 and beat Robert’s total by one.
After a slow start to the week, England’s Luke Donald charged through the field over the weekend with rounds of 65 and 66. He finished in a tie for second place with Briny Baird.
Boo Weekley, aiming for a third straight Verizon Heritage title, finished the week in a tie for 13th.
Verizon Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina Apr 16-19, purse $5,700,000, par 71
1 Brian Gay (USA) 67 66 67 64 264 $1,026,000 T2 Briny Baird (USA) 69 72 65 68 274 $501,600 T2 Luke Donald (Eng) 73 70 65 66 274 $501,600 T4 Todd Hamilton (USA) 68 66 71 70 275 $250,800 T4 Lee Janzen (USA) 65 70 69 71 275 $250,800 T6 Jose Maria Olazabal (Esp) 68 71 70 67 276 $198,075 T6 Tim Wilkinson (NZ) 71 67 65 73 276 $198,075 T8 Tim Petrovic (USA) 68 70 69 70 277 $165,300 T8 Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 70 68 73 66 277 $165,300 T8 Matt Weibring (USA) 70 70 69 68 277 $165,300
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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