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Kevin Streelman claimed his first PGA Tour title with a two-stroke victory over fellow American Boo Weekley in the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida.
The Wilson Staff player produced an excellent final round of 67 to emerge from a congested pack and overhaul the leading score of Weekley, posted earlier in the day.
Streelman hadn't won a tournament since the club championship at Whisper Rock, some five years ago and this breakthrough triumph has secured him his first start in The Masters at Augusta.
"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of time spent getting up early in the morning. It's a dream come true," he said. "Hopefully we can do it again, it was a lot of fun."
Teeing off three hours before the leaders, Boo Weekley posted a, round of the week, 63 to set a clubhouse target of eight-under-par. Given the average score over the Copperhead Course for the week was almost 72, it was an incredible performance.
"Even I'm still kind of shocked how good I hit it," said the 2008 Ryder Cup star. "One of the best days I've had in a long time." Justin Leonard put pressure on Streelman at the start of the back nine. The 1997 Open Champion tied for the lead when he made a birdie at the 12th hole. But Leonard bogeyed the 13th while Streelman made a birdie to take the lead for good.
Spain's Sergio Garcia looked to threaten mid-way through the round but he couldn't push on during the back nine. He ended in a tie for seventh place.
It was a big week for 19-year-old Jordan Spieth. By chipping in on the 17th hole and saving par at the last, he earned enough money to be granted temporary membership on the PGA Tour.
Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank Innisbrook Resort, Copperhead Course, Palm Beach, Florida Mar 14-17, purse $5,500,000, par 71
1 Kevin Streelman (USA) 73 69 65 67 274 $990,000 2 Boo Weekley (USA) 72 70 71 63 276 $594,000 3 Cameron Tringale (USA) 71 70 70 66 277 $374,000 T4 Luke Donald (Eng) 70 72 67 69 278 $227,333 T4 Greg Chalmers (NZ) 71 68 69 70 278 $227,333 T4 Justin Leonard (USA) 71 69 67 71 278 $227,333 T7 Harris English (USA) 68 69 73 69 279 $148,893 T7 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 71 67 72 69 279 $148,893 T7 Pat Perez (USA) 71 71 70 67 279 $148,893 T7 Jordan Spieth (USA) 72 68 69 70 279 $148,893 T7 Shawn Stefani (USA) 72 68 69 70 279 $148,893 T7 Jim Furyk (USA) 72 69 67 71 279 $148,893 T7 Ben Kohles (USA) 72 67 69 71 279 $148,893
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
Where next? European Tour - Thomas Aiken wins Avantha Masters
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by 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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