Vance Veazey wins Nationwide Tour opener, beats Garrett Willis in playoff
Monday, February 09 2009 @ 05:07 pm EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Veazey and Willis opened the playoff with pars on 18, then moved to the par-4 10th. Veazey hit a perfect drive down the centre of the fairway, while Willis' drive drifted right into the first cut of rough.
Willis' 8-iron from 168 yards bounced over the green and stopped 30 yards from the hole. Veazey's second found the middle of the green, about 20 feet from the hole. After taking two strokes to get to the green, Willis had a six-foot putt for a bogey 5, when Veazey ended the playoff with his two-putt par.
In regulation, Veazey bogeyed 14 to fall a stroke behind Willis, then hit a 54-degree wedge from 116 yards to eight feet to set up his tying birdie on 18.
"I didn't realize that I was behind by a stroke until I got to the 17th hole and realized I had to make birdie to have a chance to win," Veazey said. "Coincidentally, I was in the same situation on the same hole in final round when I won here in 2005."
The former Mississippi player earned US$108,000. He opened with rounds of 67, 69 and 68. Jeff Gove (70) finished third, two strokes back. Henrik Bjornstad (69) and Jim Herman (71) followed at 4 under.